Red onion: our tips and recipes for cooking it: Femme Actuelle Le MAG


Less pungent than its yellow and white counterparts, the red onion is generally used in sweet and savory recipes or to get children to like vegetables. Its softer and sweeter scent also makes it an ally for the salads. The red onion can be eaten both raw and cooked and its season extends from June to March. There are several varieties of red onions. Rosé de Roscoff (controlled designation of origin), sweet onion from Toulouse, Rouge de Brunswick and red onion from Simiane or Florence are the best known. So, how to use red onion in cooking?

⋙ Find all our cooking ideas to enjoy the benefits and flavors of red onion.

What are the benefits of red onion?

Like yellow onion, red onion is good for health. It helps to fight against cellular aging and cancer, it gives elasticity to the skin, it improves visual acuity and it strengthens the immune system. It also reduces cholesterol levels. The red onion is rich in mineral salts, vitamins and antioxidants.

What is the difference between red, yellow or white onion?

In most recipes, any type of onion can be used. The only determining factor is the color. But if you are preparing a salad, the red onion is preferred because it is more crunchy than the others. Sweeter, it is also more pleasant to eat raw. Red onion is also great for sandwiches, sauces, burgers, and aesthetically pleasing dishes. If you start crying every time you peel onions, red onion might make up for it! Otherwise, discover our tip for peeling onions without crying.

How to use red onion in cooking and can it be cooked?

Red onions can be used in many different recipes: pizzas, salads, sandwiches, sauces, fajitas, savory pies, soups, chutneys, confits… It is delicious to accompany it with cheese or foie gras. Red onions can even be eaten as a dessert, with a tarte tatin for example. But the best is still to eat it raw because cooking makes it become bland. However, some cook it in a pan with olive oil or in the oven to brown it. It can also integrate a simmered dish. It is better to give it a short cooking over low heat.

The recipe for red onion confit chutney

This condiment is ideal to accompany foie gras or festive recipes.

The ingredients for 4 people :

  • 600g red onions
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation steps:

  1. Peel and cut the onions into slices.
  2. Fry them with sugar, salt and oil in a pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the onions are tender.
  3. Pour in the vinegar and continue cooking for another 10 minutes without the lid until the onions are tender. Mix regularly.
  4. Add the pepper and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

The recipe for red onion pie

Enjoy with a green salad for a balanced meal.

The ingredients for 4 people :

  • 1 shortcrust pastry
  • 3 red onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 cl of liquid cream
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation steps:

  1. Peel and cut the onions into rings.
  2. Roll out the dough and line a pie pan. Prick with a fork.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the cream, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pastry base and cover with onions.
  4. Bake for 30 mins at 180°C.

Recipe for caramelized red onions

Caramelized onions bring indulgence to burger recipes and other sandwiches.

The ingredients for 4 people :

  • 2 red onions
  • 30g butter
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 pinch of cilantro

Preparation steps:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions.
  2. Brown them with the butter, coriander and sugar in a pan over high heat until the onions caramelize.

Red onion pickles recipe

A recipe to prepare to keep it for a long time and use it as a condiment like pickles.

The ingredients for 4 people :

  • 15 cl of white wine vinegar
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 4 red onions
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 sprig of thyme

Preparation steps:

  • Peel and cut the onions into rings. Pour 40 cl of water into a saucepan and add the vinegar, sugar, coarse salt, pepper, juniper berries, cloves, bay leaf and thyme. Boil the water. Add the onions and cook for 8 mins.
  • Store the onions in a 50 cl jar. Cover them with the cooking liquid with the herbs. Close it and place it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

The recipe for ratte salad with prawns, coriander and red onion

Want freshness on your plate?

The ingredients for 4 people :

  • 500g fingerling potatoes
  • 16 prawns
  • 1 large red onion
  • 5 cl of olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preparation steps:

  1. Steam the potatoes with their skins on for 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool then cut them into slices.
  2. Finely chop the onion, add it to the cooked potatoes with the chopped coriander, salt and pepper.
  3. Brown the peeled prawns for 3 minutes in a little olive oil in the pan, then add them to the salad.
  4. Season with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Keep cool before serving.

Read also :

⋙ Onions, potatoes… our tips for preventing them from sprouting (and keeping them longer)

⋙ How to slice an onion easily?

⋙ Sprouted seeds: our recipe ideas for cooking this ingredient that you should no longer do without

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