by CSA member Susan Wanderman
Onions, which are part of the lily family, have been known to mankind since prehistory. They have been used for food, medicine, wedding presents, dyes, hair restoral, strengthening participants in the ancient Greek Olympics, insect repellant, and rent payments. During the Middle Ages they were one of the three main vegetables of European cuisine, along with beans and cabbage.
The onions I receive in my CSA share are delicious and useful. I like to cook them with various meats and vegetables. How do I slice them without (or with fewer) tears? Well, I found an instructional video on the website for The National Onion Association (NOA), which is an industry group. The basic steps are:
-refrigerate the onion for a while before starting
-cut the top off, and run a knife down the side to split the first layer
-pull off the first layer (some say to do this under cold water)
-cut the onion in half, put the cut side down on your cutting board, and cut off the root end
-hold the half (with fingers tucked in) and slice with a sharp knife
If you would like to see this process in action, this is the link to the NOA video:
I hope this helps you enjoy your CSA onions more than ever!