July 2015
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Our recipe newsletter was such a hit last year, we've decided to share other tasty dishes you can enjoy with your freshly harvested onions. Whether eaten raw, cooked, or caramelized, onions add zip to appetizers, salads, sides, main dishes, and even desserts! Read on for some mouth-watering recipes. 

 

 signature

Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

 

P.S. The recipes and photos featured below are courtesy of the National Onion Association. For other savory onion dishes, visit the recipe section of our Web site.

 



Sweet Onion Veggie Salad

  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, cut into wedges (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup julienne pared jicama
  • 2 quarts assorted salad greens
  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen edamame, shelled
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned

For Margarita Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Margarita Dressing: Combine olive oil, lime juice, honey mustard, and sugar.


Sauté onions gently in oil over medium heat for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Combine onions, corn, jicama, edamame, and bell pepper in bowl. Pour Margarita Dressing over and toss lightly. Chill until ready to serve. Portion over greens in salad bowl, or on individual plates. Top with whole chives. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Crispy Barbecue Onions  

  • One pound onions, red or yellow, cut into 1/8-inch rings
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons paprika

Mix all dry ingredients together to make seasoned flour. 

Toss the onion slices in the seasoned flour, separating the rings. Deep-fry them in oil at 365 degrees until crispy and dark brown. Drain well. Makes 16 servings.

 
Classic Onion Pie 
  • 5 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup ham, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup low fat Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup milk

Sauté onions in olive oil until tender and translucent. Add ham and grated cheese. Combine sugar and flour with seasonings, and add to slightly beaten eggs. Add milk to egg mixture. Put sautéed onion, ham, and cheese in a pie shell; pour milk and egg mixture over onions. Bake in pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, or until custard is set and golden brown. Serve warm. An updated classic from the 1950s, this pie can be served as a light meal or savory side.

 

Caramelized Secret Chocolate Cake  

  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, soured with 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Easy Fudge Icing (recipe follows)

Melt chocolate in saucepan, stirring over low heat, or in microwave oven. Caramelize onions by sautéing them over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes in 2 tablespoons oil in skillet until soft. In a large bowl, beat remaining oil with sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Beat in warm melted chocolate and caramelized onions. Mix flour with baking soda and salt; stir into batter alternately with milk. Divide batter evenly into 2 well-greased and floured 8-inch round layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until a pick inserted into center comes out dry. Cool 15 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to thoroughly cool. Spread on icing. Makes 12 servings.

 

Easy Fudge Icing: Melt 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate with 1/2 cup butter in saucepan, stirring often over very low heat. Mix in 1/2 cup hot water, then turn into mixing bowl. Beat in about 5 cups powdered sugar, a portion at a time (adjust as needed to make a good consistency). Quickly fill and frost cake while icing is still warm. If some icing gets too cool to spread easily, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave briefly, until softened and lustrous. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Spotlight on Longtime Customers

David Risner lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and has been a Dixondale customer since 2007. We always enjoy photos of his beautiful onion crops.

 

David grows classic yellow 1015 short-day onions, perfect for his region of northeast Texas. Below is pictured his impressive 2009 crop displayed for sale at a local market. Now that's a lot of onions! Note how he's left the leaves on this batch, making them perfect for braiding later on.

 

His grandson, Ben (pictured here) shows off his own prizewinning onions from several years back, for which he won both First Place and Best of Show at the local County Fair! 

 

Featured Products
Storage Aids

Once you've harvested your onions, they'll need to be stored until you're ready to eat them. Here are a few products that will help you keep them fresh.

 

Mesh Netting Mesh Netting: The best way to store onions is in mesh netting (left). Drop in an onion, tie a knot above it, drop in another, and continue until the netting is full. Hang the netting up in a cool, dry place, and your onions will stay fresh.  

 

When you want an onion, cut below the lowest knot and take the onion that drops off. The nets are a great storage solution, as they keep onions well-ventilated, and disease (if any) can't travel from onion to onion. 

 

Storage Bags: If you grow onions in quantity, like so many of our customers do, our orange mesh storage bags are ideal -- especially if you're planning to sell your onions.

 

storage bag The bags provide ventilation, and they're light but also strong. They're available in three sizes, with the 10 and 50 pound sizes recommended for larger producers.

 

You can purchase our storage bags individually or in bulk. They're $2.50 each, but if you buy ten or more, they're just $2.00 each. And as with all products at Dixondale Farms, we don't add shipping charges. 

  

Onion Calipers: With this onion caliper tool you can accurately determine the size of your crop:

Super Colossal: 4-1/4 inches and up
Colossal: 3-3/4 inches and up
Jumbo: 3 inches and up
Medium: 2-1/4 inches to 3-1/4 inches
Prepack: 1-3/4 inches to 2-3/4 inches
Boiler: 1 to 1-7/8 inches

We're selling these handy tools for $4.99. They're great to use at farmers markets or for bragging rights with other onion growers!

From Our Friends
What a Crop!

Bill McMorris of Greenup, IL recently sent us this picture taken by his son. Bill grows 1015 yellow short day onions, and had this to say: 

 

"What a crop of Dixondale onions this season. We have shared our delicious onions with family, church members, and friends... Some of their responses were: 'They are the best-tasting onions we have ever eaten,' and 'These onions are the biggest we have seen in many years. How did you get them to grow so huge?' "  

Around the Farm
Wallace Martin Honored

Our own Wallace Martin (Wally) was honored recently at the 7290 Traffic Net annual summer picnic for his service as an Traffic Net Ham Radio operator. Mr. Martin has been serving as an independent public operator over 50 years.

 
The Master of Ceremonies praised Wallace for his dedication to Traffic Net for a half century. "Wally has been a big supporter of our net for many years. We appreciate his dedication to the net and his service to our country."

 

For anyone out there wanting to get in touch with him, Mr. Martin's call letters are W5WXI.  

 

The 7290 Traffic Net is an independent, public service traffic net operating on or about 7290 kHz, and has been in continuous operation since 1953, handling formal written traffic, informal messages, and operating extended sessions during emergencies or special needs. For more information, visit 7290trafficnet.org.

 

Q & A: Harvesting Your Onions
Q: How do I harvest my onions?
  

A: Once the tops of your onion plants have fallen over, pull the onions out of the ground and let them dry in the garden for a few days. It's a good idea to cover the bulb of one onion with the top of another to prevent sunscald.

When you remove your onions from the field, they need to be dried (cured). Onions intended for storage should be dried well outside, under sheds (see photo), or in a cool indoor location. Never let a decayed onion
touch another, because the decaying process will spread. Do not leave the onions outside in the field when it's going to rain, because that will delay the drying process.

Fun Onion Facts

If you ever smell onions after you mow your lawn, that means you've encountered the native wild onion, a.k.a. Allium canadense. You may also know this common weed, which grows throughout most of North America, as meadow garlic or wild garlic -- but it has the pungent aroma and taste of onions, whatever the name. These small bulbs were once part of the diet of many Native American tribes. 

All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on when to order your onions and how to find your frost and freeze dates, as well as for tips on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing them.

You can also print our electronic Planting Guide, or download a PDF version for easy reference.

And be sure to review our short videos, on topics ranging from bolting and fertilizing, to how onion plants are harvested, and how they deal with cold weather.
About Dixondale Farms

As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the U.S., Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of top-quality, disease-free, ready-to-plant onion plants. To see our complete product line, request a catalog, or for growing tips and cultural information, visit our Web site. We're also available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us at customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

 

Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success.

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