- Author: Katie (Cathryn) R Johnson
Onions are one of the most common vegetables in the word. Readily available year-round, onions are often the supporting flavor in a dish, not usually the main event. In Spring, however, when the first fresh onions of the year begin appearing in gardens and local markets, we have the opportunity to appreciate onions as the juicy, naturally sweet and savory vegetables they are. While there are a few different types of onions commonly sold in stores, in fact there are many different varieties that all have subtly different flavors. “Green” onions, also known as scallions or Spring onions, are young onion plants harvested with their green tops. Green onions and other types of fresh onions that are sold with their tops still attached should be eaten quickly and stored in the refrigerator. Onions with no tops and paper-like skins have been cured, or dried once mature, so that they can be stored for longer periods of time. This kind of onion should be kept in a cool, dry place with good air flow, such as in a paper bag in a pantry. Refrigerators are too moist to store cured onions for long, as the wet environment can cause them to sprout. However, once a cured onion is cut any remaining pieces should be stored in the refrigerator if the whole onion is not used immediately. Nutritionally, onions are a good source of Vitamin C, and also contain fiber, Vitamin B6, and potassium. See below for healthy recipe ideas starring onions, or learn more about onions and view their nutrition facts at the USDA's Seasonal Produce Guide.