Onion Funion – Washington

Don’t cry baby, it’s sweet onion season. Walla Walla sweet onions became Washington’s official state vegetable in 2007 thanks to a dedicated group of junior high students who lobbied the state legislature. A soldier named Peter Pieri is credited with bringing sweet onion seeds to Washington from the island of Corsica in the

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Dip1880s. Sweet onions have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is the compound that makes you cry and gives onions their pungent bite. This favored allium is also 95 percent water which means they have to be harvested by hand as they are much more delicate than their regular onion brethren. Their shelve life is shorter too, usually only available from mid-June to late August.

 While more expensive than other onions, the sweet onion’s mild flavor is prized by all. Try them brushed with a little olive oil and plopped on the grill until soft, or diced in your favorite salads. Or whip up a baked dip, like we did here. This recipe is super easy and the creamy dip goes great with hard, crunchy vegetables like carrots, radishes and celery.

If you want to get your onion on, head over to the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Fest, June 21-22, 2014, in Walla Walla.

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Dip

  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 8 oz. of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 cup diced sweet onions
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Paprika


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except paprika in a bowl until combined. Spoon out mixture into a shallow oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve with crudité, fresh bread or crackers.