May 7, 2011

Wild Onions Revisited

About a year ago, I blogged about wild onions. I had harvested some, and preserved them in what I call a "fresh pickle," i.e. just peel and pop into leftover pickle juice. The vinegar in the juice preserves them and I confess that I have a terrible time throwing pickle juice away once the pickles are eaten!

Well, we've eaten a few. But since we're not especially crazy about hot foods, they're still sitting in the fridge, and will likely stay that way. Why? Because they're not just hot, they're really, really hot. And that's putting it mildly.

So this spring, when they started popping up around the place, I debated whether to mow them down, or pull them and toss them on the compost pile. We did eat some chopped up in scrambled eggs.....

Wild onions in eggs
Cooked, they aren't as hot as raw (or fresh pickled). As we enjoyed the eggs, I was reminded that they are really tasty this way. I decided to try something different this year.

Chopping wild onions for the dehydrator

I decided to collect as many as I could and dehydrate them.

One quart & counting
So far, I've got a quart jar stuffed full of them, and am working on a few more. Even dehydrated they are still hot, but added to soups and stews, I can adjust the amount according to taste.

This is free food, which I can't bear to pass up! Dehydrating is a really good way to preserve them. We do love onions, so I doubt we can ever have too many in storage. They'll be one more thing that will be very handy to have around. I hope.


Sherri B. said...

I don't know if we have wild onions in the Pacific NW. I will be on the look out though. Is there anything dangerous that I might confuse it with? One thing we do have quite a bit of around here is stinging Nettle, but I have never done anything with that.
That's great that you are getting so many 'free' dried onions.

DebbieB said...

You've mentioned your dehydrator before, and I always think, "Oh, I need to check those out, I've always wanted one!" Then I click away and forget. I'm going RIGHT NOW to look them up. :)

Sue said...

I used to harvest the wild onions in my yard, when we lived in North Carolina. We especially liked them in home baked bread.

BrokenRoadFarm said...

How cool that they are just there naturally! Dehydrating sounds like the way to go with them.

lunalupis said...

@Sherri B - We do have wild onions in the NW - Our homestead is just to the east of Alsea - we have wild chives, onions, and garlic!

comment on blog-
Nice idea! dried onions are very useful!

luckybunny said...

Oh smart idea!! I've looked here for wild onions with no luck. I'm waiting for our morels to come out. This is such a wonderful way to gather and preserve food. I think this will work way better for your tastes than the pickles. I bet the eggs were yummy!

Leigh said...

Sherri, you need to invest in one of those edible wild plant identification books! They are so handy. The other thing that looks like wild onions is wild garlic, but it's edible too. Stinging nettle is supposed to be super nutritious, but since we don't have any wild, I've never tried that. A lot of folks grow beds of it on purpose.

Debbie, a dehydrator is a wonderful tool, especially for those who want to preserve their own food. I love mine.

Sue, what an excellent idea to bake them in bread! Thanks for that. I could use either fresh or dried for that.

BRF, so easy, so convenient, so free! LOL

Lunalupis, would love to have some wild chives and garlic. We do have something else that grows, but I haven't ID'd it yet. I really need to do that.

Donna, lucky you to have morels! That's something we don't have. :(

Michelle said...

Wonderful! I may have to try this! I am planning to dehydrate as much food as I can this summer. According to Mother Earth News magazine, dehydration preserves drastically more of the nutrients than canning or even freesing. Plus, you are not using electricity to keep your food. Great post!