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Onion's Essence

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- Amanda

Before shallots and garlic became the standard aromatics for dressings, vinaigrettes and dips, onion juice was often used. Onion juice is easy to make: you just grate an onion on a fine grater -- a Microplane works well -- gather the pulp in your hand and squeeze out the juice. What's great about having onion in liquid form is that you can control the amount of onion flavor you add to a recipe (also, less risk of dragon breath). Try making it next time you're assembling a salad -- I think onion juice works particularly well in buttermilk dressings, like this one:

Buttermilk Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt
1/ 4 cup olive oil
1/ 4 cup buttermilk
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/ 2 to 1 teaspoon onion juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until emulsified, then whisk in the buttermilk. Season to taste with pepper and onion juice -- and more salt, if needed.

Makes about 2/ 3 cup.

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Comments (6)


almost 3 years ago Nirak

I have found that onion juice comes out bitter, have tried different onions, with the same result.


about 6 years ago Eric Liftin

... or add lemon juice with hand-squeezed lemon to get out the smell?


about 6 years ago Eric Liftin

If you squeeze onion pulp by hand, do your hands become impossibly stinky?


about 6 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Well, yes, a little. So you can also put the pulp in a fine-mesh sieve and use the back of a spoon to press out the juices.


about 6 years ago Eric Liftin

and don't forget to wear goggles.


about 6 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You know, I've never made a buttermilk vinaigrette - think this will have to be my first venture!