Onions / Shallots / Leeks Round up

We only got TWO entries this week! I know I had a hard time trying to find a recipe that highlights onioins, shallots or leeks. They all seemed to be soups. With the weather in Boston in the 80s-90s all week, I just wasn’t in the mood to make soup! We’ll have to try this one again when the weather starts to change.

Thanks so much Judy and Becke for entering this week.

Judy’s Gross Eats made Julia Child’s Potato Leek Soup

Columbus Foodie made Pork Loin Roast with Onion-Mushroom Gravy

July 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment

VOTW – Onion / Leeks / Shallots!!

Onions, Leeks, Shallots!!

Any type of onion, leek, or shallot can be used in  your entry. Please send entry information to VindicateTheVegetable@gmail.com Please submit entries by midnight on Sunday, July 13.

Definition: Related to the lily, this underground bulb is prized around the world for the magic it makes in a multitude of dishes with its pungent flavor and odor. There are two main classifications of onion — green onions (also called scallions) and dry onions, which are simply mature onions with a juicy flesh covered with dry, papery skin. Dry onions come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and flavors. Among those that are mild flavored are the white or yellow Bermuda onion, available March through June; the larger, more spherical Spanish onion, which is usually yellow skinned (but can be white) and in season from August to May; and the red or Italian onion, which is available year-round. The stronger-flavored globe onions can have yellow, red or white skins. They can range from 1 to 4 inches in diameter and in flavor from mildly pungent to quite sharp. Among the special onion varieties are three exceedingly juicy specimens. The Maui onion, hailing — as its name implies — from the Hawaiian island of the same name, is sweet, mild and crisply moist. It can range in color from white to pale yellow and is usually shaped like a slightly flattened sphere. The Maui onion’s season is from April to July. Vidalia onions are the namesake of Vidalia, Georgia, where they thrive. At their best, these large, pale yellow onions are exceedingly sweet and juicy. They’re usually available from May through June only in the regions where grown or by mail order. The state of Washington is the source of Walla Walla onions, named after the city of the same name. Large, round and golden, they’re in season from June to September but are usually available outside their growing area only by mail order. Oso Sweet onions hail from South America and, as their name suggests, are extremely succulent and sweet and, in fact, contain almost 50 percent more sugar than Vidalias. They’re available in specialty produce markets from January through March. Another import is the Rio Sweet onion, which is predictably sweet and available from October through December. Tiny pearl onions are mild-flavored and about the size of a small marble. They can be cooked (and are often creamed) and served as a side dish or pickled and used as a condiment or garnish. Boiling onions are about 1 inch in diameter and mildly flavored. They’re cooked as a side dish, used in stews and pickled. When buying onions, choose those that are heavy for their size with dry, papery skins with no signs of spotting or moistness. Avoid onions with soft spots. Store in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to 2 months (depending on their condition when purchased). Humidity breeds spoilage in dry onions. Once cut, an onion should be tightly wrapped, refrigerated and used within 4 days. Most onions cause tearing (caused by sulfuric compounds) to some extent — some just watery eyes, others giant crocodile tears. Freezing the onion for 20 minutes before chop-ping helps, but then so does wearing safety goggles. Dried or freeze-dried onion by-products include onion powder (ground dehydrated onion), onion salt (onion powder and salt), onion flakes and onion flavoring cubes. Onions are also sold canned or pickled (usually pearl onions) and frozen (whole or chopped). Onions contain a fair amount of vitamin C with traces of other vitamins and minerals.

© Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Here are some onion recipes.

Here are some leek recipes.

Here are some shallot recipes.

July 7, 2008 at 7:08 am 3 comments

Bell Pepper Roundup

Sorry this post has been such a long time coming. As I mentioned, Nina and I have both been busy. Thanks so much to everyone who submitted entries over these past two weeks.

Judy’s Gross Eats made Tri-Color Sweet Pepper Quiche

Gaga in the Kitchen made Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta

My Baking Adventures made Stuffed Mini Peppers

Crafty Precious made Roast Yellow Pepper and Garlic Tortellini


Beantown Baker made Inside out Stuffed Peppers

… and Ropa Vieja

June 28, 2008 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging

Just wanted to give everyone an update and let you know that Nina and I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. Between vacations, work and being sick, we’ve both been really busy. Watch for this week’s vegetable and the roundups for freestyle and bell peppers to be posted within the next day or two.

In the meantime, don’t forget to eat your veggies!

June 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

VOTW – Bell Peppers!

Bell Peppers!!

Definition: In the United States, the term “sweet pepper” encompasses a wide variety of mild peppers that, like the chile, belong to the Capsicum  family. Both sweet and hot peppers are native to tropical areas of the Western Hemisphere and were brought back by Christopher Columbus to his homeland where they quickly found their way into Spanish cuisine. Sweet peppers can range in color from pale to dark green, from yellow to orange to red, and from purple to brown to black. Their color can be solid or variegated. Their usually juicy flesh can be thick or thin and the flavors can range from bland to sweet to bittersweet. The best known sweet peppers are the bell peppers, so-named for their rather bell-like shape. They have a mild, sweet flavor and crisp, exceedingly juicy flesh. When young, the majority of bell peppers are a rich, bright green, but there are also yellow, orange, purple, red and brown bell peppers. The red bells are simply vine-ripened green bell peppers that, because they’ve ripened longer, are very sweet. Bell peppers vary from 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long and from 2 1/2 to 4 inches wide. Green bell peppers are available all year long, while the red, orange, yellow, purple and brown varieties are found sporadically throughout the year. With their tops cut off and seeds removed, bell peppers are excellent for stuffing with a variety of fillings. The large, red, heart-shaped pimiento is another popular sweet pepper. Fresh pimientos are available in some specialty produce markets from late summer to fall. Canned or bottled pimientos are marketed year-round in halves, strips and small pieces. Pimientos are the familiar red stuffing found in green olives. Other sweet pepper varieties include the thin, curved, green bull’s horn; the long, tapered Cubanelle, which can range in color from yellow to red; and the sweet banana pepper, which is long, yellow and banana-shaped. Most sweet peppers are available year-round with a peak from July through September. Choose peppers that are firm, have a richly colored, shiny skin and that are heavy for their size. Avoid those that are limp, shriveled or that have soft or bruised spots. Store peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Sweet peppers are used raw in salads and as part of a vegetable platter served with various dips. In cooking, they find their way into a variety of dishes and can be sautéed, baked, grilled, braised and steamed. Sweet peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain fair amounts of vitamin A and small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

© Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Here are some Bell Pepper recipes.

June 17, 2008 at 9:06 am 5 comments

VOTW – Freestyle!

If y’all are anything like me, summertime = craziness!  Why my summer is so crazy, I don’t know; it’s not like I have kids distracting me since they are out of school.  Regardless, This week’s veggie is whatever you love!  Just make your favorite veggie recipe and link back to us.  I’m looking forward to all the delicious recipes. 

Deadline: June 15, 2008

June 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

Spinach Round Up!

We got some great entries for spinach this week! I had a pleasure hosting and look forward to hosting again in a couple weeks.

My Baking Adventures made Spinach Pie

Red Kitchenaid made Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells


Judy’s Gross Eats made Chicken and Spinach Soup

I [heart] Food 4 Thought made Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Love Sweet Love made Spinach Salad

Beantown Baker made Spinach Artichoke Pizza

… and Stuffed Tomatoes

… and Spinach / Goat Cheese Turkey burgers

… and Jessica Seinfelds Deliciously Deceptive Brownies

June 2, 2008 at 7:37 am 2 comments

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