START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Onions 101

Eat Up!
Cooked or raw, onions add depth and excitement to dishes.

  • Spring and red onions bring color and flavor to salads, salsa and guacamole.
  • Sweet onions are best when eaten raw or only slightly cooked, making them perfect additions to hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh salads.
  • To sauté onions, heat skillet over medium-high heat and add oil to coat bottom of pan. Add thinly sliced or chopped onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To caramelize onions, first heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 teaspoons of butter. Add 2 pounds of thinly sliced onions and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered until onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. If pan becomes dry, add a few tablespoons of vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Kitchen Tricks

  • To prevent watery eyes when cutting an onion, chill it for an hour before chopping. This helps slow down the movement of allyl sulfate, the enzyme responsible for producing tears.
  • When cutting a dry onion, chop off the top and slice in half through the root. (Leaving the root intact makes chopping easier.) Remove skin and place halves flat-side down on a cutting board. Slice to make uniform half-moon slices.
  • To take the onion smell out of a wooden cutting board, wash it with a paste made from baking soda and a few drops of distilled vinegar. Rinse with warm water. Season the dried board with mineral oil.

Onion Recipes:
Creamy Green Onion Soup
Asparagus, Spring Onion, and Mushroom Pasta
Barbecue Tofu and Vidalia Onion Stir-Fry

Chef Cary Neff is the president of the consulting firm Culinary Innovations and the author of the New York Times bestseller Conscious Cuisine (Sourcebooks, 2002).

Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
1:55PM PST on Jan 27, 2013


12:25PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Dzięki. Mnie cebula pomaga na obrzęki stawów. Gotuję ją całą i dość gorącą przykładam do bolącego stawu zwykle na noc.

10:19PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Never have enough onions.

10:13PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

I cook with onions almost every day!

10:08PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Chilling an onion really helps!

8:32AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

5:09PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Onions, mushrooms; peppers and zucchini are the staples in my kitchen; and the occasional egg plant and fresh tomatoes. I use a blend of long grain and wild rice with a touch of turmeric.

1:59AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

Thanks, onions go in practically everything I make.

7:16PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Thanks! I love onions and everything related to it!

6:45AM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

We love onions...

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

No caffeine, ever, if I can help it...

Ok, I cringed a little when the baby poked his finger close to the dog's eyes. It could have so eas…

I never sleep at night anyway, so... :)



Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!