The onion is a garden plant native to central Asia and Palestine. It has been cultivated for over 5,000 years and is widely appreciated both as a vegetable and as a condiment. The onion was held in high-esteem by the Egyptians, who used it to pay tribute to their gods and placed it in tombs for use in the afterworld.
The onion has been an essential cooking ingredient and vegetable since the Middle Ages and is one of the most universal flavoring ingredients. Onions vary in shape, size and flavor, and certain varieties like scallions and green onions are sold fresh in bunches.
Onions can be used in an endless variety of ways. They are used both raw (especially when mild) and cooked. Yellow onions are an essential ingredient in many classic recipes, including onion quiche, pizza and à la soubise dishes. They are also frequently baked au gratin, fried, stir-fried, creamed or stuffed. Onions are a widely popular condiment in a multitude of both hot and cold dishes. Studded with cloves, a whole onion can be used to add flavor to stews and stocks.
Onions contain potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin B6. They are credited with so many medicinal qualities that they can almost be called a panacea. They are notably said to prevent scurvy and to be diuretic, antibiotic, a stimulant and an expectorant. They are also used in the treatment of colds, intestinal parasites, gallstones, diarrhea and rheumatism.
-1 unbaked 9-inch short-crust pastry shell
-1 ½ lb (750 g) onions
-2 tbsp. butter
-1 tbsp. oil
-½ cup (125 ml) milk
-½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
-2 tbsp. flour
-dash of nutmeg
-salt and white pepper
1- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
2- Grease a 9-inch pie plate and dust it with flour. Line it with the pastry shell. Prick the bottom with a fork, and bake it for 5 minutes. Set the pastry shell aside.
3- Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a saucepan, heat the butter and oil. Add the onions and cook them over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender, stirring constantly.
4- In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk, cream and flour. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well.
5- Sprinkle the onions over the pastry shell and pour the egg mixture on top.
6- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the mixture has risen and is golden on top.