Friends, gather close.
It is during the wonderful springtime that I must introduce you to the Texas 1015 sweet onion, if you’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting.
Did you know onions are Texas’ leading vegetable crop? According to Texas A&M University, onions contribute an overall $350 million to the state’s economy.
Texas’ long relationship with onions began in 1898 when the Bermuda onion was introduced to South Texas.
The famed sweet Vidalia onions in Vidalia, Georgia were actually a consumer-named variant of the Granex onions from Texas. In 1952 Granex transplants from Dixondale Farms in Carrizo Springs, Texas were first shipped to Georgia, where a farmer named Mose Coleman discovered that the onions he had planted were not hot, as expected. They were sweet!
Vidalia Onions have developed an international reputation as the “world’s sweetest onion.” Their mild flavor is claimed to be due to the unique combination of soils and climate found in the 20-county Georgia production area.
I was first introduced to the Vidalia onion as a young teenager. My family had recently moved to Alabama and an older couple invited us to dinner to welcome us to town. They enjoyed cooking and made an incredible Italian dinner with a beginning salad course of tomatoes, Vidalia onions and crumbled blue cheese dressed in an herbed vinaigrette.
At the time, I didn’t know I liked onions, but I knew I loved sweet Vidalia onions. Now, they remind me of my growing up years in the deep South.
Imagine my excitement last spring to discover the Texas 1015 sweet onion at my local farmers market!
Developed in the early 1980′s by Dr. Leonard Pike, a horticulture professor at Texas A&M University, Texas 1015 onions are actually named for their optimum planting date, October 15.
Named Texas official state onion in 1997, this large, prized onion was developed after ten long years of extensive research, endless testing and a million dollars in cost. As a result, Texas achieved a mild, exceptionally sweet onion that lives up to its nickname – the “Million Dollar Baby”.
During the few months the Texas 1015 onions are available, I simply cannot get enough. Onion pizza, French onion soup, grilled onions on burgers, sweet onion fajitas – our family frantically enjoys them, knowing there is no time like the present, for the sweet onion harvest season is short and they’re not particularly suited for long storage.
This little breakfast croissant sandwich of bacon and caramelized sweet onions, dressed in a dijon mustard and pure maple syrup mayonaise is a delightful way to celebrate one of Texas’ finest horticultural achievements – the Texas 1015 onion.
TEXAS 1015 SWEET ONION AND BACON CROISSANT SANDWICH
8 strips of bacon
1 Texas 1015 sweet onion or other sweet onion variety
4 croissant rolls
Lay strips of bacon flat in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until slightly crisp – about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Cut the onion into six or eight large wedges.
Cook the onions over medium heat in a non-stick pan until they are completely translucent, soft and lightly browned – at least twenty minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Slice the croissant rolls in half lengthwise.
Pile two pieces of bacon on each roll. Spoon onions onto the bacon. Dress with maple dijon mayonnaise and serve immediately.
MAPLE DIJON MAYONNAISE
2 tablespoons mayonaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Whisk ingredients together until fully combined.