main dish to accommodate allium allergy?

I need to bring a main dish serving 10 - 12 to a potluck, and I'd like to bring something that would serve one guest who has a life-threatening allium allergy. This is tough for me as all my favorite savory dishes seem to begin with "dice an onion" or "mince some garlic." Thanks friends!



ChefJune October 13, 2014
A dear friend is allergic to onions, and his wife creatively makes delicious dishes without them, relying instead on celery, carrots and peppers (sweet) as her "Trinity." She also judiciously uses salt and pepper, and various herbs and spices. Her results are always so delicious no one realizes there are no onions.
dinner A. October 13, 2014
I wonder if fennel bulb might work as a substitute for onion in some dishes. It's not the same flavor of course, but it might add an analogous sweet and savory flavor. Maybe with a pinch of asafetida as Panfusine suggests added as well, to substitute for that allium bite.
Shannon C. October 12, 2014
What about a cold soba noodle dish? The sauce could be soy sauce/tamari, toasted sesame oil, a little maple syrup or brown sugar, lime juice and rice vinegar. Add shredded chicken (maybe from a rotisserie chicken to make it easy?), fried tofu cubes, or grilled steak. Mix in some thinly sliced bell peppers, cabbage, carrots and/or bean sprouts for crunch and taste.
Kristen W. October 12, 2014
Here's another option: --
It's an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe that I loved when I tried it.
plainhomecook October 11, 2014
These are all such creative suggestions. Thanks folks and please keep them coming! There's very little on the internet by way of good recipes that are allium-free, so you are filling a great big gap.
Susan W. October 11, 2014
Just for fun, you might see if there are allium free recipe boards. They have them for so many allergens, they may just have them for allium allergies.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 11, 2014
How about honey mustard chicken thighs & breasts or flank steak with a dry rub or roast beef, sliced thin in au jus served with horseradish sauce and small rolls?
nutcakes October 11, 2014
I also can't think of anything I make without onion or garlic, but I would look for something with lemon or vinegar or other strong flavor, like ginger. Maybe Rao's lemon chicken omitting the garlic? Also there is a type of Indian cooking that uses no onion or garlic and you can do an internet search, though they are likely vegetarian. Good luck.
Panfusine October 11, 2014
A lot of recipes in Indian cuisine catering to orthodox Hindus & Jains completely eliminate alliums, in fact its not allowed at all. The substitute for alliums is asafetida, As much as it stinks to high heaven in its raw form, it blooms into a lovely garlicky aroma when heated. Not sure about how it is used in western recipes though
plainhomecook October 11, 2014
Do you have a link for such a recipe? I'm really intrigued! Thank you.
Panfusine October 13, 2014
The one recipe I can think of is this vegetarian adaptation from Raghavan Iyer's book 660 curries, I'd eliminate the onions altogether and ad 1/8th - 1/4 teaspoon of powdered asafetida at the same step as the onions.

The original recipe call for chicken instead of Paneer, its on page 122 in the book and is called Yogurt marinated chicken in a black peppercorn sauce (Chettinad Kozhi). I can't seem to locate an online link to the original recipe.
Susan W. October 11, 2014
You could make roasted chicken with lemon and thyme. Typically, I add a head of garlic...just skip that. It will still taste good and that way everyone can eat the same thing. I would cut whole chickens in pieces or buy both light and dark so people have a choice. White wine or sherry and lemon juice added for moistness makes a yummy sauce. Baking lemon wedges with the chicken makes for a tasty and pretty dish. You can use freshly cut lemons and fresh thyme as garnish also.

My concern is that you commonly cook with onions and garlic, so I would use a plate to cut the lemons up and leave the cutting boards in the cabinet. If it's life threatening, then any trace is a danger.
Pegeen October 11, 2014
Since this rules out onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, leeks, chives.... why not just cook one of your favorite recipes without the onion or garlic? If it's a pot luck with a pretty large number of dishes, a lot of flavors and tastes will be going on... I wouldn't worry about one of your favorite recipes being allium-less unless it was a key ingredient (like onion soup!).
SMSF October 13, 2014
Yep, just leave the alliums out! Works just fine.
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