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A Guide to Onions

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Cipolline Petite, flat, and oval with a purplish skin. Delicately sweet flavor. Use to season meats and in casseroles, soups, stews, and vegetable dishes.
Green (Scallion) Small bulbous root end with white stalk and dark green leaves. Milder than a mature onion, but stronger than chives. Use in salads and as a topping or garnish for entrées.
Leek  Slightly bulbous root end with thick, white stalk and dark green leaves. Milder flavor and fragrance. Use in soups and salads.
Pearl About the size of a marble with a white, gold, or purplish skin. Mild, sweet flavor. Best for roasting and boiling. Use with roasted meats or in soups, stews, and vegetable dishes.
Red  Round shape with purplish skin. Bold flavor. Use on pizzas and salads or in sandwiches.
Shallot Similar in shape to garlic with multiple cloves covered in a thin skin. Mild flavor that is a cross between a sweet onion and garlic. Use in stews and soups and in fish, meat, and vegetable dishes.
Sweet (Vidalia, Texas 1015, Walla Walla)  Round or flat oval shape with a thin, light-colored skin. Sweet, mild flavor. Use on salads and hamburgers or in sandwiches.
White Round shape with glossy white skin. Bold flavor. Best for grilling and sautéing. Use for kabobs and in salsas and dips.
Yellow  Round shape with golden skin. Savory, rich onion taste. Use in casseroles, soups, and stews.

SOURCE: Lunds and Byerly's Culinary Experts - Real Food Magazine - Spring 2009