Ailsa Craig Onion
Photo: Ailsa Craig, David MacTavish, Hutchinson Farm, Burlington, ON, August 23 2013

Grown at Hutchinson Farm since about 1995. Available late July to early October, 2013.

Allium cepa

A kitchen staple, onions are used in countless dishes in just about every world cuisine. We grow the big ones: sweet Spanish onions, and large red ones. Our favourite variety is Ailsa Craig, a heirloom variety from Scotland, introduced in 1887 -that's a two pounder in the photo!

  • In season
    Late July to October.

  • Purchasing tips
    Look for peppers that are firm and heavy for their size. For jalapeños, the more cracks, the hotter!

  • Storing at home
    For short term storage, room temperature is fine. For long term storage keep them cool (the refrigerator). We keep ours in our unheated garage where they last until April!

  • Cultivars
    Sweet Spanish: Riverside Sweet Spanish, Ailsa Craig Exhibition
    Red: Mercury, Countach

  • Preserve
    Chop and freeze, but if you have a cool place, they keep a very long time!

  • Classic Recipe
    A kitchen staple, but French onion soup is mighty good!
    If you find that raw onion taste overwhelming, after finely chopping your onion, rinse it under your tap!

  • Favourite Recipes
    More recipes to come, please share yours!

    French Onion Soup
    This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook pg 118
    French Onion Soup
    2 tbsp butter
    5 red onions (3 lbs) sliced thin
    2 tsp thyme
    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    8 cups broth
    2 bay leaves
    1 baguette cut in ½" slices
    2 cups Swiss Cheese

    In a large saucepan, cook the butter, onions, and thyme over medium heat until dark and sticky, about 30 mins. De-glaze with the balsamic vinegar, add stock. Preheat oven to 450°. Simmer for 20 mins. (the original recipe calls for 6 cups chicken broth, 1¾ cups beef broth, we use whatever we happen to have on hand). Place oven safe soup bowls (there's enough broth for 8 bowls) on a cookie sheet, add broth to bowls, add 2 slices of baguette, top with ¼ cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts, about 5 mins.
    Serves 8 (or 4 with seconds)!
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