The next time you cut a sweet onion and don’t cry, thank a soldier named Peter Pieri. Pieri is credited with bringing sweet onion seeds from the island of Corsica to Washington in the 1880s. Sweet onions
have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is the compound that makes you cry and gives onions their pungent bite. Walla Walla sweet onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to a persistent group of schoolkids who lobbied the state legislature.
Sweet onion season is fleeting, just like summer. This recipe, slightly adapted from the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee, pairs the allium with summer fruit stand-outs mango and kiwi to make a terrific fruit salsa that will be a hit at your next patio gathering.
Towering over 14,000 feet, Mount Rainier makes its presence known, just 64 miles southeast of Seattle. With over 27 major glaciers and countless smaller ones, this peak supplies six rivers and is also an active volcano.
Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa
- 1 Walla Walla onion, diced
- 2 mangos, peeled and diced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Juice from 1 lime
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
We don’t know about you, but when we think of the foods of Virginia, two things come to mind: Smithfield ham (which is a type of country ham protected by state law and only produced in the town
of Smithfield) and peanuts. There are actually thousands of peanut cultivars but the four main groups grown in the U.S. include Spanish, Runner, Valencia and Virginia. Virginia peanuts are mostly grown in southeastern Virginia but also in the Carolinas. Virginia peanuts are prized because they are bigger than the other types.
For those who love sweet and salty snacks to go with a beer or cocktail, this recipe will deliver. Just try to keep yourself from eating too many at once, we found them totally addictive. You’ve been warned.
Enjoy the wildflowers on the historic Skyline Drive which covers 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park. Be sure to allow enough time for checking out the visitor center, hiking, exploring neighboring towns, and of course, eating.
Sweet and Savory Peanuts
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (up to ¼ teaspoon if you like spicy)
- 1 ½ cups lightly salted Virginia peanuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl, place agave syrup and spices (everything except the sugar). Stir until well blended. Add peanuts and stir to coat. Spread peanut mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees, stirring every five minutes for 20 minutes or until nuts are caramel brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle on sugar, then toss with spatula until nuts are fully coated. Let cool. Break up into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.
If never made homemade granola, we’re here to tell you it’s the simplest thing ever. Besides that, you have the added bonus of being able to control the ingredients, especially the sugar. This recipe uses
Vermont’s most famous and favorite product – maple syrup. We’ve told you before how Vermont leads the states in producing maple syrup and how maple is the official flavor of the Green Mountain State.
We’ve been making this granola recipe for years and it’s a big hit whenever we have company. We are partial to pecans and dried cherries but you can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer – almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries – it’s all good.
If a visit to the Vermont is in your future, check out the Open House Weekend, April 2-3, 2016, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.
Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 ½ cups pecans or other nuts
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup dried cherries
In a large bowl, place oats, nuts, chia seeds (if using), turbinado sugar and salt. Stir until combined. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and water. Heat until boiling. Add maple syrup mixture to the oat mixture. Stir to combine.
Place granola on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring granola every 15 minutes until it reaches desired shade of brown (approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how dark you like it). Let cool. Add dried cherries. Granola will keep 2 to 3 weeks if sealed tightly.