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Oh-So Sweet Super Sunday Buffet

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Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Greek Meatballs With Yogurt Sauce
Caramelized Onion Pizza
Mediterranean White Bean Salad
Chicken Portobello

(Family Features) - People in the Mediterranean have been cooking with onions for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians ate lots of onions and even believed they were an aphrodisiac. Maybe that's why they ate so many! The Israelites wandering in the wilderness longed for the onions they ate in Egypt.

Too bad they never had the chance to taste OSO Sweet Onions, grown at the foot of Chile's Andes Mountains, where perfect growing conditions produce large, juicy, mild onions with record-high sugar content, crisp texture and mild flavor that doesn't kick back.

Zesty OSO Sweet Onions are in season just in time for the big game - no tickets needed to enjoy them in this hearty, healthy Mediterranean buffet. In Jacksonville, home of this year's Super Sunday, and elsewhere in Florida, people eat more OSO Sweet Onions than anywhere else in the country. These adaptable onions are mild enough to use raw in salad, versatile enough to sauté, grill, fry or roast. Taste them caramelized atop a delectable onion pizza, and you'll be sure to cheer!

People who avoid ordinary onions go for OSO Sweets because they contain so little pyruvic acid, the substance that causes tears, harshness and indigestion. So, you can use as much onion as you like without tearing eyes or onion breath. Onions are always a winner because they contain naturally occurring phytochemicals that reduce the risk of cancer and help protect against heart disease.

Help keep your New Year's resolution to eat healthier with this tasty make-ahead menu, which gets extra points because the whole family gets to watch the game. -- by Aliza Green

Aliza Green, a James Beard Award-winning author, has been a chef and food writer for more than 30 years. Her recent books include "Field Guide to Produce" (Quirk Books) and "Beans: More than 200 Wholesome, Delicious Recipes from Around the World" (Running Press).

Onions are the essential vegetable ...
"It's hard to imagine a civilization without onions."
-- Julia Child

Zesty and Versatile Sweet Onions

  • Dice sweet onions and mix with guacamole, salsa and salads.
  • Use diced sweet onion to flavor tomato sauce, soups, chowders and stews.
  • Top hot dogs, pizza, quesadillas and chili with diced raw sweet onion.
  • Burgers of all sorts - beef, turkey, tuna or vegetable - all get a lift from sliced raw or grilled sweet onion.

Visit the award-winning website www.sweetonionsource.com to learn more about sweet onions and to get health information, quick tips and terrific recipes.

Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (or 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs), such as thyme, oregano, rosemary and marjoram
  • 2 OSO Sweet Onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 (1-pound) bag baby carrots
  • 1 (1-pound) bag butternut squash chunks
  • 3 colorful bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 eggplant, cut into chunks (optional)

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
    2. Whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. Toss with vegetables.
    3. Arrange vegetables in single layer on baking sheets. Roast 20 minutes, stir and then roast 10 minutes longer or until browned and crusty.

Serves
8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Chef's Tip: To get best brown crust, broil vegetables last 5 minutes of cooking, keeping close eye on them so they don't burn.

Greek Meatballs With Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 pint plain yogurt, preferably whole milk Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried mint)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices of bread without crusts, soaked in water till mushy
  • 2 pounds ground beef or pork
  • 1/2 OSO Sweet Onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • Vegetable oil for browning
  • 1 cup water

Preparation
    1. Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator, up to 3 days.
    2. Squeeze excess moisture from bread. Mix together bread, ground meat, onion, egg, oregano, salt and pepper. Form into 6 dozen small meatballs.
    3. Heat oil in large skillet. Brown meatballs on all sides at moderate heat. Pour off any fat from pan. Add water to pan and scrape up any browned bits from bottom. Simmer meatballs about 10 minutes or until liquid is syrupy. Serve with toothpicks and dunk into yogurt sauce.

Serves
6 dozen small meatballs

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Chef's Tip: To form meatballs, use melon baller to scoop mixture. Then, dip your hands in water and roll meatballs into rounded shape.

Caramelized Onion Pizza

Ingredients
  • 4 OSO Sweet Onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 pizza dough round
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Preparation
    1. In large skillet, cook onions, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper in olive oil at moderate heat until juices are released. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
    2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread onions over dough round, leaving 1- inch border all around. Sprinkle with olives and cheese and bake 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Just before serving, sprinkle pizza with sun-dried tomatoes.

Serves
8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Chef's Tip: Brush border of pizza with olive oil for shiny brown crust.

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cans or jars (15 ounces each) cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 OSO Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

Preparation
    1. Blend oil, vinegar, salt and pepper till smooth and creamy. Drain and rinse beans. Drain again. Toss beans, red peppers, celery, and onion with dressing. Taste for seasoning. Just before serving, toss with parsley.

Serves
Serves 8

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Chef's Tip: If you make salad ahead, season just before serving with few drops of vinegar and sprinkle of salt and pepper to brighten flavor.

Chicken Portobello

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds chicken leg quarters (or 4-pound roaster chicken, cut-up)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 OSO Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Drain and rinse chicken, trimming off any excess fat. Pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Arrange in baking pan and roast 30 minutes, or until juices run clear when pricked at thickest point.
    2. Meanwhile, in Dutch oven, heat olive oil and lightly brown onion. Stir in garlic, cook together 2 minutes and add mushrooms and oregano. Continue cooking 5 minutes longer, or until mushrooms have softened. Stir in flour and cook 5 minutes. Add red wine and tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken and any cooking juices to pot.
    3. Simmer together 10 minutes longer. Serve over steamed white rice.

Serves
8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Chef's Tip: Substitute 1 cup chicken stock plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar for red wine.

SOURCE: OSO Sweet Onions


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