Plucking Onions: Time for an Onion Sauce

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When the leaves of the onion plant begin to fall over, you know that they are ready to harvest, but what do you do with your harvest?

I was reminded again of the disconnect children have when it comes to knowing where their meal and their foods origins. My children see this fact on a daily basis, but I had a few odd looks when harvesting onions. The bulbs dangled from my left hand, dropping down in a waterfall style for more than two feet, as I pulled the onions from the ground with my right hand. My daughters, who do not like onions in their meals, were happily helping. One of my sisters-in-law pulled up, and my niece and nephew toppled out of the car to spend the evening with us. They rushed over to see what we were doing. They were baffled by this activity. Is it important that they know where their food originates? I am not sure, but I have found that my onion averse daughters will eat the bulb when they harvested the vegetable themselves. There is a greater appreciation for our food when we see it go from the garden to the table. Although the cooking portion might be their favorite activity.

    You can save onions by hanging them in a cool, dry place, but I do not have such a space available to me. Well, I do, but my wife would prefer that I do not hang onions there. I decided to prepare them for various meals. The simplest preparation was a sauce. Many of the leaves were still green. We do not see onion greens in the stores, yet they are good to eat. We pulled them off of the bulbs, and tore the greens into smaller pieces. Olive oil went into a blender (about two cups). The greens went next, followed by rice vinegar, salt, and honey. I usually portion the vinegar to oil equally, but this time was 1 to 2. The two year old had fun pressing the different buttons on the blender. You want the leaves to be pureed. This is a rich green sauce. I taste the sauce after the initial pulse to adjust the flavor. The girls like the tasting portion best. Once I have it to their satisfaction, I know that this sauce will be accepted at the meal.
    I bought pork tenderloins at Georgia’s Farm to Market (on the I-10 near Dairy Ashford). I thought that a different type of onion sauce may go well with this meal. I sauteed the onions till they were golden brown. I added a little flour to the pan, which soaked up the remaining oil. A cup of water was added, and then another. I scraped the bottom of the pan to have the start of my sauce. Two tablespoons of a raspberry marmalade came next. Maybe a tablespoon of soy sauce was added (I splashed it into the pan, so I think that I added less than a tablespoon). Lastly, I added a bit of pepper with a small pat of butter. This was stirred together till I had a smooth sauce.
    I will be harvesting bell peppers from the garden today, and probably the last tomatoes. Houston’s summers are too hot for those vines. I thought that the sauce for tonight’s dinner should be a salsa. I like roasting the tomato, pepper, and onion.  With an electric cooktop, I either do this outside grill or in the oven. I chop them up. I add a little minced garlic, a touch of olive oil, and vinegar (my lemons and limes are not ready to harvest). Then season. Why bell pepper? The children do not like spicy food ( I take that back; my son is eating spicier salsas). I chop a variety of hot peppers for my wife and myself to be added into the salsa on our own plates.
    I still have more onions, so other dishes will ensue. That is one thing about eating seasonally: you either have to preserve your harvest or eat a great deal from one vegetable at times. Pickled onions have never tickled my fancy, but I do like dried onion flakes. These can be used in hamburgers or soups, and as a seasoning. I guess that I should pull the dehydrator out to make some onion flakes.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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