Yup. Really. According to “Simple, Sexy Food” in some parts of the ancient world onions, leeks, garlic, chives and shallots were considered essential for male potency. They were served at wedding feasts in both Rome and Greece and recipes exist of love potions made of onions, honey, pine nuts and almonds.

I’m not sure what the women of the ancient world thought about that little bit of advice as they would be the ones who had to live with the men who were overindulging in veggies with such a distinctive and lingering smell. Maybe the women ate the same food and didn’t notice. Maybe modern sensibilities are fussier. I don’t know.

What I do know is that Washington State grows some mighty fine onions.

walla walla poster

And they’re beginning to show up in grocery stores. Walla Walla Sweets, as the name implies, are milder than ordinary onions. But, like their more potent relatives, the nutritional value is the same–fiber, vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants with very few calories.

And I know just the side dish to take advantage of these sweet treats. It goes great with that steak you’ll be grilling for your significant other sometime over the holiday weekend.

Sweet Onion Bake–to serve 4

4 cups chopped Walla Walla Sweet onions

2 tblsps. butter

1/2 cup raw rice

3/4 cup Emmentaler or Swiss cheese

1/3 cup half and half

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Saute onions in butter until translucent but not browned.

3. Cook rice in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and mix with onions.

4. Mix onion/rice mixture with cheese and cream.

5. Bake in covered casserole dish for 1 hour.

It may not provide more romance in your life but it will be delicious.


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