Onions are a very popular vegetable, found in almost every kind of dish imaginable: soups and salads, snacks and main dishes of every meal at any time of day.
Cutting onions, of course, is always tricky. The sulphuric compounds have a strong odor and bring tears to the eyes. (To reduce the tearing response, the National Onion Association recommends chilling the onions for half an hour prior to cutting)
By cutting onions properly you reduce the time you spend with your face and fingers in fumes. Here's how to correctly cut an onion into diced squares, long slices, and rings.
Cut off the top of the onion and slice it in half from top to root. Peel one half, leaving its root section in place. Make horizontal scores from the top of the onion, stopping just before hitting the root. Score it vertically, again top to root, and again leaving the root intact so it will hold the pieces in place.
Turn the onion a quarter turn, then make complete slices, this time cutting from one side of the bulb to the other, until all you have are diced pieces and a piece of the root.
Discard the root piece and start again on the other half of the onion. One medium onion yields about one cup of diced pieces.
Cut off the top of the onion and discard. Turn the bulb upside down and use the cut top for stability while slicing it in half, bottom to top.
Peel one of the halves and cut off what remains of the root. Place the half flat side down and slice from top to root end at a consistent width.
Cut off the top of the onion and discard. Cut off a thin slice in the widest part of the bulb. Use this slice as a starting point to remove the skin and outer layers; discard.
Leave the root end intact and lay the onion onto the cutting board, using the thinly sliced area as a flat bottom for stability. Hold the root end with the fingertips of your off hand and slice the top end off. Continue slicing at the desired width until only the root remains.
Onions can be diced, sliced or cut into rings ahead of time. They will keep in a refrigerator for 7-10 days if stored in a sealed container.
Tip: When sauteing onions, the National Onion Association recommends using low to medium heat for maximum flavor. High heat will produce a bitter taste.
Share these onion-cutting tips with your Facebook friends, then give them a try yourself!