Onions One Way

Onions are excellent.  Red onions are the pinnacle of God’s creation.  There aren’t many foods that I taste in the backs of my eyeballs, and those that do (really good whole seed dijon mustard, for example) I cherish.  Red onions are my favorite though.

My college roommate Jon and I used to experiment with cooking different dishes in our apartment across the street from campus.  When he smelled me chopping onions (or heard me sneezing violently) he would come to the kitchen, hovering over my shoulder, and sniff what I was cooking at the stove.

“Onion smells good,” he would say, scanning the stovetop, “but I think you forgot some.”  

He’d pick up the spoon or cutting board off the counter and pluck each and every stray piece of diced onion from the cutting board and eat them one by one.

Red onion is good in soups, chopped in salads with a sweet dressing, in salsas or relishes, and fried in a stir-fry.  Recently, however, I’ve dispensed with all the pretense.  Red onions are just delicious.

I’ve taken to slicing them into the largest slices as I can, roughly a quarter of an inch thick, salting them on one side, and throwing them flat onto a hot pan with the salt side down.  Once in the pan I salt the other side and leave them to sear.  When the whole kitchen smells like earthy horseradish and hot olive oil I flip them whole, like a pancake, and cook the other side.  In the time it takes to microwave some leftover rice or cook an egg, they’re finished at which point I toss them onto a plate and glory in the spicy onion air wafting about the apartment.


FoodPeter Amos