When Kimberly Reddin heard sandwiches had surpassed pizza as the most popular item on menus across all segments, she grabbed a bushel of onions and set to work.
“We know raw onions are popular on sandwiches,” said Reddin, director of public and industry relations for the Greeley, Colo.-based National Onion Association.
“So it was perfect timing and a perfect pairing,” she said.
After much dicing and slicing, the association created six sandwich recipes for use in culinary classes and foodservice highlighting the many different and delicious ways to use raw and cooked onions.
For starters, a sweet roasted onion aioli tops grilled vegetable pockets; spicy onion relish meets a wasabi tuna sandwich; and chicken cobb salad in a bun gets a blue cheese onion spread.
“We want recipe and menu developers to think this is a great concept they should apply to one of their menu items,” Reddin said.
The onion association is creating a card for each recipe, she said, and a recipe brochure with photos should be available on the association’s website in early December.
Because the recipes are all easy to prepare at home, Reddin said she may extend the sandwich idea to consumers in the future.
“The Uptown grilled cheese sandwich with onion jam is so good, I can’t even begin to tell you,” she said. “Yet it’s the simplest thing ever to make.”