Sweet Onion Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta
This simple salad is a nice accompaniment to grilled fish. These Vidalia onions are sweet, but any raw onion will have a little bite, so soaking them in ice water helps take it down a bit, making it more enjoyable for everyone. Serves about 6.
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, such as Sigona’s Sherry Reserva Wine Vinegar
- 1/3 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mix it up! Try Sigona’s Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, a nice blend of herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.)
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp minced parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 – 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups), look for a mixed medley for nice color and flavor
- 1/2 – 3/4 an English cucumber, halved and sliced into half-moons about 1/4-inch thick (about 2 cups)
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion, halved and cut into chunks
- 4 oz. block Feta, cubed (crumbled would work fine, too)
Directions: Fill a medium bowl half-full with water and ice. Add the chunks of onion and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. (This takes some of the bite out of the raw onion.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and herbs; season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and feta. Add the vinaigrette and toss well to coat evenly.
Let the salad sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, toss again before serving.
Rustic Sweet Onion Tart on Whole Wheat with Kalamata Olives and Capers
Sweet onions, flavorful kalamatas and capers make this simple tart impressive for brunch or as an appetizer. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Serves 4 to 8.
- 1 pkg Lamonica’s whole wheat pizza, thawed if frozen
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mix it up! Use Sigona’s Herbes de Provence Olive Oil)
- 2 sweet Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry and chopped, such as Agostino Recca anchovies in olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
- Whole wheat or all-purpose flour, as needed
- 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 15 pitted Kalamata or Niçoise olives, halved lengthwise (find them in the Sigona’s olive bar)
Directions: Preheat the oven according to dough package directions.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden and softened, about 10 minutes. Make a space in the skillet and add the minced garlic. Let sizzle until fragrant, then stir into the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, to blend the flavors, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil with the anchovies and herbs. Cook, stirring and breaking up the anchovies with a wooden spatula until they’re dissolved, about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from the heat.
On a lightly floured surface, use your fingers to flatten and stretch the dough. Then, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to fit a rimmed baking sheet (rounded corners are fine). If at any time the dough begins to shrink back, let it rest for 10 minutes and then roll again. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased the baking sheet, then brush the dough with the anchovy oil. Spread with the onion mixture on top, then evenly sprinkle on the capers and olives. Bake until golden-brown, according to package directions.
Let the tarts cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Caramelized Sweet Onion Risotto with Gouda
Risotto is a delicious comfort dish, and I just love how the Gouda in this recipe pairs with the caramelized sweet onions. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Serves 2 to 4.
- 4 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 2 sweet Vidalia onions, halved and then thinly sliced into half-moons
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cups arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 1/2 cup finely grated Gouda, such as Zola, Beemster or Sigona’s Moo-Na Lisa (a Gouda-Gruyère style cheese)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cook without stirring until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir with a wooden spatula. Continue to cook, adjusting the heat as necessary; stir and scrape the bottom of the pot frequently, until the onions are well browned and caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the broth with 1 cup of water and warm over medium-low heat until steaming hot.
Remove the onions to a bowl or plate, cover and keep warm. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth mixture to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with the wooden spatula until any stuck-on bits are released. Pour the liquid back into the broth mixture. Wipe out the pot and put back on the burner over medium heat.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pot. Add the rice and cook, stirring gently, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium low. Ladle enough broth over the rice to just cover (about 1/3 cup) and simmer, stirring often, until most of the broth has been absorbed (test by running a spoon through the rice; no broth should pool on the pot bottom). Continue to add the broth in this manner, stirring often, until the rice is tender but still has a bit of resistance when you bite into it, 20 to 30 minutes. (You may not need all of the broth.)
Stir in the remaining oil, the Gouda and all but 1/4 cup of the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, topped with the remaining onions.
Tempura-Battered Sweet Onion Rings
Tempura is a lighter batter for frying than a traditional beer batter, and makes for a nice crispy coating on the onion rings. Adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray. Serves about 8.
NOTE: You can make your own tempura batter using the ingredients below, or pick up a box of Hime tempura batter mix, which we sell in the store.
- Vegetable oil, for frying (enough to fill a wide, deep skillet or deep pot with 2 inches of oil)
- 2 sweet Vidalia onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices, then broken up into rings 2 to 3 layers thick
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups ice-cold water
- For serving: your favorite dipping sauce
Directions: Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add the onions and allow to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
While the onions are soaking, fill a deep pot or wide, deep skillet, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F.
Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and set aside. In a separate bowl, prepare 1 ¼ cups ice-cold water. In another medium bowl (one that will set inside the large bowl of ice), whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add the ice-cold water and stir just until a batter forms. The batter will be thin, with small lumps and bubbles. Set the batter bowl inside the bowl of ice to keep cold.
Using tongs, coat the onion rings with the batter, allowing the excess drip off. Working in batches, drop the rings into the oil and fry until light golden, about 2 ½ to 3 minutes. Using the tongs, transfer the rings to paper towels to drain; return the oil to 360°F. between batches.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.