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Farmer’s Market Find: Sweet Maui Onions

sweet-maui-onions-02Most Saturday mornings, you will find my husband and me roaming the abundant produce-packed aisles at the Irvine Farmer’s Market. I mentioned this market last summer, when I featured a peach cobbler recipe.

sweet-maui-onions-03This farmer’s market is anything but average. The sheer size, number of vendors, and plethora of produce is unlike any farmer’s market I’ve visited before. Even better, it is brimming with seasonal and local favorites year-round.

sweet-maui-onions-04The thing I love the most about this farmer’s market, next to all the gorgeous produce and friendly vendors, is that I very often find a fruit or vegetable I’ve not previously encountered. Just this weekend, we found an unfamiliar vegetable called sweet Maui onions.

sweet-maui-onions-01When we walked past these onions, we were drawn to their alluring sweet smell, and their vibrant purple color and contrasting bright green stalks. Neither my husband nor I had heard of Maui onions, so we asked the farmer about them. He told us they are much milder and sweeter than traditional onions. A quick internet search confirmed their mildness is attributed to a much lower sulfur content and higher water content than other varieties of onions.

sweet-maui-onions-07The farmer also suggested we try grilling these onions, as they taste even better caramelized. Maui onions can be used just as you would any sweet onions. I personally love grilled onions on burgers or pulled pork sandwiches. Sweet onions are also great on top of a steak or mixed with other grilled vegetables. They also add a nice sweetness to omelets or frittatas.

In case you come across Maui onions in your town, here are just a few of the great recipes I found while searching for ideas of how to use the Maui onions.

Sweet Maui Onion Rings

Maui Onion Soup

Caramelized Maui Onion Dip

Caramelized Maui Onion and BBQ Duck Quesadillas

Sloppy Joes with Maui Onion Straws

They would also be great in the sweet onion bacon tart I featured last fall.  Have you cooked with Maui onions before? Share your recipes with me!

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