Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Potayto or potahto?

Potatoes don't grow very well in Houston, but onions do.  As far as I'm concerned, ours have been hanging around long enough, and they have not been paying rent.
When I pulled this one out, Lawrence exclaimed, "We're supposed to wait until the tops fall over [to harvest them]!"

But that rule only applies if we are solely interested in the bulb.  When it comes right down to it, are we supposed to eat the top of the onion, or the bottom of the onion??  White people wait until the tops dry out and fall over, and then eat the bottom.   But our Asian neighbors think we're a little bit bonkers for not eating them right now, as they are. 

And they are probably right.  I suspect we suburbanites have been conditioned to eat the bottom of the onion mostly because it's easier to ship the bottoms from California.  Big Ag has skewed our expectations of onions for their convenience, not ours.  A lot of the nutrition is actually in the top, the part that Asians are generally too shrewd to waste.

So in the face of all this, I decided that we're supposed to eat the whole damned onion.  There's nothing about the voluminous tops that negatively affects cooking in any way - in fact, the tops are actually the most flavorful part!  Here I chopped up that aforementioned squatter as the base for a dish called quinoa primavera (mine differs significantly from the URL, which tends to be very bland - throw some tumeric and multi-spice blends into it if you try it, along with extra vegetables of all types).  Them's good eatin'.

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