There isn't a cook in the world who doesn't take onions for granted. "Onions grow in a lot of different climates and can be stored a long time, so they're a basic element in all cooking cultures," explains Steffanie Smith, CEO of River Point Farms, an onion producer based in Hermiston, Ore. The inexpensive, always-available bulbs provide essential flavor in everything from Asian stir-fries to Italian tomato sauces. But only rarely do onions get a starring role in recipes, such as the ones here that (finally!) give the tasty bulbs the attention they're due.
Take Your Pick
Red, white, yellow, or sweet? Choose the right varieties for your recipes.
Yellow Full-bodied flavor makes these the go-to onions for cooking.
Red Their color and not-too-strong taste tout them as raw and grilled options.
White These onions are worth seeking out for their mild flavor when chopped or sautéed.
Sweet Vidalia onions from Georgia and Walla Walla onions from the Pacific Northwest are prized for their lack of typical onion "bite." EverMild, a variety hitting stores this year, is a biteless sweet onion option during the winter months.