For me, it is a right of passage of sorts. I remember back over 30 years ago when as a young bride in the Low Country we had just moved in to a new house on the St. Helena Sound. my neighbor brought me over a little brown paper sack filled with yellow squash. She told me to go to the Piggly Wiggly and buy a “mess” of Vidalia Onions and explained this very simple recipe. Every spring I make this and think of the gift that Belle gave me. These two vegetables which appear at the same time every spring in the South will always be a perfect pairing in my mind. You can use any sweet onion to make this. Fortunately I had the amazing luck to come upon a shipment of Vidalias here in Hawaii. I grabbed them up and have been making all kinds of good things with them. But when I was at the farmer’s market and saw this yellow squash, I had to make this.
The recipe is embarrassingly simple and I am sure you will love the velvety texture that is the result.
Vidalia Onions and the First Yellow Squash of the Season
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions sliced
3 tender yellow squash sliced
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan
In a generous skillet, heat the olive oil and put in the squash in an even layer. Brown and turn.
Add the onions and stir, sautee till the onions start to sweat.
Clean a hot spot in the center of the pan and add the minced garlic. Stir again.
When the onions turn translucent and just start to brown, add the cheese and stir till it starts to melt.
Add salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
It is that magical time of year when Vidalia onions appear in the markets. Yes, even here in Hawaii, home of the Maui Onion (which is almost as sweet) we get Vidalias. I have been making cornmeal crusted onion rings for a long time, but I decided to change it up a little by using Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk to soak my onion rings in and to add Furikake to the Polenta. In this recipe I used a course ground Polenta which added a lot of texture. You could also use stone ground grits for this. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning used to spice up plain rice. I use it for lots of things and love adding it to the panko crumbs when making fish. My favorite Furikake is wasabi, sesame and nori. It ads little pops of flavor in the crust.
2 cups of Greek Yogurt, thinned with 1/2 cup of milk
4 large Vidalia onions
2 cups coarse polenta
1/2 cup all purpose flour (or rice flour if you are gluten free)
1/4 cup Firikake
plenty of fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
Peanut oil for frying
- Slice onions into thick slices, place the slices in the bowl of yogurt and milk and allow to rest for 30 minutes
- Mix all other ingredients except oil in a shallow container
- Heat oil to 350
- Pull out slices of onion and shake off excess yogurt but allow a bit to remain
- Dredge the onion slices in the breading, making sure it adheres to the onion slices
- Fry the onions, 6 or so slices at a time for about 3 minutes, draining on a grid.
- Serve immediately
I like to make a chipotle mayo for dipping. In a small blender mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with half a can of chipotles. (freeze remaining peppers for another use) Blend till they are combined.