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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Learn How to Prepare Onions

Learn How to Prepare Onions

Fresh or stored, red, yellow or white, onions have been one of the tastiest discoveries in cooking history. But there’s no reason to cry over them! Here are some tips for preparing and serving the mighty onion:

To alleviate stinging tears in your eyes, chill an onion for 30 minutes prior to chopping it.

Cut off the top and peel the outer layers, leaving the root with the offending compounds intact.

To reduce the sharp taste of storage onions, chop or slice them, then soak in a bowl of ice water for 1 ½ hours. Drain well before using in cooking.

After dining on onions, nibble on a piece of orange rind or a parsley sprig. Both have natural breath fresheners.

Now that you’ve shown that onion who’s boss, here are two delicious recipes:

Sourdough Bread Salad

2 cups sourdough bread cubes, in 1-inch pieces
1 medium tomato, cored and diced
1 small celery stalk, trimmed and diced
½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 ½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. each salt and pepper

Place bread cubes in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water. Add tomato, celery, and oregano. In a cup, stir together vinegar and oil. Add to bowl. Stir in onion, salt and pepper. Toss together. Set aside for 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Serves 4.

Red Onion Compote
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup sweetened cranberry juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced, or ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. each salt and pepper

Place onions in a large skillet. Add cranberry juice, honey, and rosemary. Stir well. Stirring occasionally, cook over low heat for 50 minutes, or until onions are very tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 1 minute to blend flavors. Serves 4 to 6.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.