Last Friday at the Gifford Park Neighborhood Market, I got my first glimpse of onions.
The Big Muddy Urban Farm booth was selling summer onions, yellow and white with long stems on the tops. Summer onions are sweet enough to be eaten raw and when caramelized, get even sweeter. They peak in September and should be available at many Omaha markets in the coming weeks.
It's best to store onions in dark, dry places, like the pantry; don't store them in plastic bags, which encourage mold and sprouting.
This week's recipe bridges the late summer and early fall with hearty grains and a sweet pomegranate dressing. If you don't care for bulgur, substitute quinoa. If you cannot find the pomegranate molasses, sold at some grocery stores and Middle Eastern markets, you can substitute by either reducing down a bottle of pomegranate juice or using one part honey mixed with one part cider vinegar.
Recipe: Bulgur and Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Tomatoes, Onions and Pomegranate Dressing
For the dressing:
• ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 large garlic cloves
For the salad
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1½ cups chopped onion
• 2 cups small-grain bulgur (about 10 ounces)
• 2 cups warm water
• 3 red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced into rounds
• 1 cup canned black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained (from 15½-ounce can)
• 1 cup chopped fresh basil (preferably purple basil)
• 3 large green onions, chopped
• 2 cups chopped seeded diced plum tomatoes (about ¾ pound)
• ½ cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Combine pomegranate molasses and oil in a small bowl. Using garlic press, press garlic into mixture and whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add bulgur; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups warm water, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix in jalapeño chiles, then black-eyed peas, basil and green onions. Cover skillet and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer bulgur mixture to large bowl. Mix in dressing. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, mix tomatoes into salad and sprinkle with nuts.
Note: The salad can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature, then add tomatoes and nuts just before serving.