Baby onions, grown-up onions

Baby onions have stems no bigger than the stick on a Q-tip. The easiest way to slip them to their 1-inch recommended depth is to use a dibble planter with inches marked on it (like the one made for me by my friend Jerry Keys out of poplar wood). Poke a hole to 1 inch, plop in the onion and firm the earth around it. Just make sure that your onions can enjoy all-day sunbathing — I put a few in a shady nook  to see what would happen (and because I was out of onion room) and they haven’t grown a bit, just moped.

Baby onions waiting to go in ground. The established plants in each hill are garlic and leeks.

If your onions do something more productive than mope in the shade, someday you can enjoy this onion tart from the April 2011 issue of Cooking Light.  A rustic crust like this (no pan) is also called a galette. This one is heady with the earthy flavors of roasted onion, feta and Swiss cheese and fresh thyme. My thyme plants are also mopey (or deceased) so I used 2 teaspoons dried thyme instead of 2 tablespoons chopped fresh. The magazine suggested an arugula and walnut salad to accompany since neither of those ingredients will be overpowered by the  onions and cheese.

Onion tart

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-1/2 pounds onions, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 14.1-ounce package refrigerated pie dough (1 crust)

1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 425º. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, salt and pepper; cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roll or stretch out dough on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle feta cheese in center, leaving 1-1/2-inch border; top with onion. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Fold piecrust border up and over onion mixture, pleating as you go, leaving a 6-inch-wide opening.

Combine egg and water; brush over dough. Bake at 425º for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings, 402 calories, 9 g fat each.

Onion galette with the last of our 2011 onion crop.

 

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