Monday, June 21, 2010

Onions are Ready to Harvest!

Onions are an integral part of my Texas kitchen, especially the sweet Texas 1015.  Almost every dish I cook begins with an onion.  It's funny though...I *don't* like them raw; but once the 1015s are cooked, they turn sweet and delicious.  This past weekend it was time to harvest my onion crop for this season.  It is getting too hot and they were beginning to bolt.  In planning for the harvest, I quit watering the onions about four days ago.  This helps begin the curing process. 

I pulled the onions out of the ground and washed all the dirt off the roots then let them dry outside, not in direct sun, for several hours, turning them frequently. 

Once pulled, the onions need to cure before storing them for the season.  This allows the starches and nutrients to move to the bulb, concentrating their sweetness.  To cure, spread the onions out on newspaper, or hang them, in a well ventilated, warm spot to thoroughly dry.  If they are spread out on newspaper, turn them frequently so they dry out completely and be sure not to crowd them.  The curing process can take up to 2-3 weeks.  Once the sheaths become dry and paper-like, the sheaths can be cut and the onions stored in a box or preferably a colander which allows the air to circulate, in a cool dark place.  The onions will keep for about three months like this...that is if they last that long!

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