Tender Profile | Onions


Who Am I?

  • Botanical name/plant family: Allium cepa

  • Great source of: Vitamin C and Manganese

  • Harvest season: I am ready for harvest in the summer

Important growing practices: Buying organic is always a smart choice. Onions are naturally fairly pest resistant and do not require much pesticide use.

How to care for me:

Keep me in a cool, dark, dry place, away from potatoes. 

Flavor and Pairings:

I am well suited to be used raw on sandwiches and in salads, and add a crunchy zing. When I'm caramelized (cooked slowly for a long time until browned and sweet), I add a lovely flavor to pastas, sandwiches, quiche, salad dressing, and more. I am delicious sautéed, grilled, and baked as well. I am great with a wide variety of ingredients, including meats, cheeses, celery, chicory, mushrooms, curry, tropical fruits, honey, and cloves just to name a few.

Fun Facts:

  • The ancient Egyptians worshipped onions, because they believed that their spherical shape and layers symbolized eternity. There are even ancient onions that have been found buried in pharaohs' tombs!

  • In the Middle Ages, onions were accepted as a form of currency for paying rent and for goods and services (if only that were still true!)

Fresh ingredients for the perfect summer salad

By Charlotte Fisher. Originally Published in The Vermont Cynic on September 21, 2016. 


Tuesday afternoon with a bag in hand I arrived to pick up my first basket of the semester from the Intervale Food Hub.

The day before I had received a newsletter that detailed what I should expect to find inside.

I was pleased to find a basket sitting perched on a table labeled “Fisher.” Inside was a gorgeous array of farm-fresh goodies just as the newsletter had promised.

Back in my dorm, I dug into the organic treasure chest that sat before me: cabbage, carrots, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, shallots, corn and for a kick of spice, some hot peppers.

Although all the ingredients were at peak freshness, it was the cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, huge shallots and fragrant cilantro that stood out to me. These are the perfect ingredients for a summer salad, just what we all need to hold on to these last few days of summer.


3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar, apple or white wine
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 ears of corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeno, diced (if you want less heat, use less pepper and remove the seeds)
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped or shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium sauté pan. While that heats, remove the kernels from the corn cobs by running a knife down the sides.
  2. When the pan is hot, add half of the diced shallot to the pan, stirring frequently for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the shallot is fragrant. Add the corn and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Allow corn to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the halved tomatoes and diced jalapeño together. Add the warm cooked corn and shallot mixture to the bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To make the dressing:

  1. Add remaining shallot to a small bowl. Add vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. While whisking, pour in remaining 2 tbsp olive oil.
  2. Pour over salad, add a handful of cilantro and mix. Add salt and pepper or more vinegar to taste.


Charlotte Fisher is a senior nutrition and food science major at the University of Vermont, and a member of our College Fall 2016 season. You can follow her as she makes delicious meals using our Vermont Vegetable package here on our blog, or at her blog, The College Cheapskate.