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’ve talked before about how Walla Walla onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to some lobbying
schoolkids. Available mid-June to August, these favored alliums have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is why they are so mild.
We admit to being huge fans of caramelized onions with recipes here and here, but this Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread couldn’t be any easier. Cut it up into smaller portions as an appetizer paired with wine or beer, or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp and a salad as part of a full meal. If you can’t find Walla Walla onions, use regular white onions and add a pinch of sugar when the onions are done.
Olympic National Park is the fifth most-visited national park. With almost a million acres, Olympic contains the only temperate rainforest in the contiguous United States, but is also boasts miles of coastline and majestic mountains.
Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium Walla Walla onions, thinly sliced
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 1 cup torn arugula
- 2 8”x11” flatbreads
- 4 ounces goat cheese
To caramelize onions – heat olive oil in sauté pan until hot. Add onion. Cook on medium-low heat until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat, add arugula. Season with pepper and a pinch of sugar (if desired).
Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto each flatbread. Top flatbread with half the onion/arugula mixture. Top with half the goat cheese. Repeat with the remaining flat bread. Heat at 425 degrees for about 7-9 minutes or until goat cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp.