Rose’, a sweet onion aptly named

I realize I am a bit of a sucker for Walla Walla Sweet Onions, but once you have them you know, without a doubt, they are the sweetest onions grown – anywhere!  This year a small number of Rose’ Walla Walla Sweets has been made available in our local Farmers Market by Locati Farms.  Handy tip: you too can have Walla Walla Sweet Onions, just hop online and order from the Locati Farms link above during the June/July season.  A few weeks ago I wrote to tell you about ‘sweet rose’ onions in the Netherlands; those onions are nothing like this.

Rose' and yellow Walla Walla Sweet Onions
Look, Rose’ Walla Walla Sweet Onions from Locati Farms!

Hubby and I sliced a yellow and a Rose’ Walla Walla Sweet to compare raw flavor: both wonderfully sweet, as expected.  Most red onions have a fierce bite from the Pyruvic Acid; most make your eyes water from the naturally occurring sulfur as you slice them.  The beauty of our local onions is their lack of both Pyruvic Acid and sulfur.  Of course, this very thing, coupled with the higher water content of the Walla Walla Sweets is what makes them tender and reduce their storage time.  You can dehydrate them to prolong storage like I do.

Locati Cellars at Locati Farms
Preparing to bottle 2014 red wines at Locati Cellars production facility at Locati Farms.

The history of the Walla Walla Sweet is closely entwined with the wine we make at Locati Cellars.  Michael F Locati, winery owner, is a third generation Walla Walla farmer, following his Grandfather, Joe Locati, and father, Ambrose, and uncle, Pete, along with his brother, Ambrose (Bud) Jr.  Wine grapes and onions, as well as asparagus, are what the family focuses on now.  Michael J Locati, nephew to Michael F Locati, has been patiently developing the red sweet onion over the last seven years.  By 2018 production of the reds will begin to reach commercial levels.  That means Northwest area grocery chains like Fred Meyer and neighborhood stores and restaurants along with the Walla Walla Farmers Market will have them.  The link above will eventually allow you to order Locati Farms Rose’ Walla Walla Sweet Onions.  Just think, you can experience these exquisite onions.  Thank me later as I have a recipe to share with you for these delectable onions.

Midsummer picnics, barbecues, and humble meals at home, whatever your reason, this potato salad combines the Rose’ Walla Walla Sweet Onion (or use a sweet onion you have access to) and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes (think really good french fries) with the savory notes of dill weed, celery seed and dry ground mustard in a creamy dressing to take this salad to another level!  It is based on my mother’s potato salad recipe but instead of boiling the cubed potatoes, I rub them with olive oil and roast them so they are slightly crisped on the outside and soft on the inside.  I was eating the salad warm  after making it and it was super tasty.

Roasted Potato Salad

8 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, rubbed with olive oil to coat

1 1/2 cups Rose’ Walla Walla Sweet Onion, diced small

6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon dill weed

fresh ground pepper and salt, to taste

2 teaspoons dry ground mustard

3/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream OR 3/4 cup each mayonnaise and Miracle Whip

Paprika, optional

Locati Cellars 2014 Dolcetto
Locati Cellars 2014 Dolcetto balanced the herbs and texture of the Roasted potato salad beautifully.

Hard cook your eggs while your cubed potatoes roast in a 350* oven until they begin to turn gold.  Let the potatoes cool a bit, chill to peel the eggs before chopping.  Combine the potatoes, minced onion, chopped eggs, celery seed, dill weed, salt and pepper.  Toss gently to distribute the seasonings.  Mix together your choice of dressing with the dry ground mustard; make sure the mustard gets well blended; add the dressing to the potato mix.  Fold until evenly moistened.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

We chose to maintain the Locati theme and pair this salad with Locati Cellars 2014 Dolcetto.  Meaning small sweet grape, this wine is deep purple and full of ripe fruit flavors.  The salad and wine paired beautifully bringing out the herbs and fruit in a nice balance.  Cheers!

Sunset in Walla Walla, no filter is necessary.
Sunset in Walla Walla, no filter is necessary.

2 thoughts on “Rose’, a sweet onion aptly named

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