Healthy living


Varieties of onion
L to R: Spanish onion, salad onion, brown onion, bulb of garlic, chives, white onion, local garlic, leek, spring onion.

Soups, casseroles, stir-fries, omelettes, frittatas, pancakes, salads and vegetable side dishes.


  • Chives: mild onion flavour with slender, vivid green, hollow stems.
  • Garlic chives: similar to chives but with flat stems and a slight garlic flavour.
  • Spring: small bulbs and long green stalks.
  • Garlic: firm, plump, whitish head containing several cloves.
  • Brown: most commonly available with strong flavour and crisp texture White: cleaner, more mild flavour than brown onion.
  • Red (Spanish): sweeter than brown, often used to add colour.
  • Salad: flat, white with a long stem. Sweeter than brown onion.
  • Leeks: larger than spring onions, with a mild and creamy flavour when cooked.


Choose firm, unblemished product.


Chives, spring onions and leeks should be stored in an airtight bag in refrigerator crisper. All others should be stored in a cool dark place in open trays.


When preparing leeks, wash them thoroughly before cooking as the leaves often collect dirt.

Boil or steam for 10 minutes until tender (whole onions or leeks). Microwave in a covered dish with 2 tablespoons water on high (100%) for 5-6 minutes or until tender, stirring after 4 minutes to ensure even cooking. Roast with root vegetables in a moderately hot oven for 45-60 minutes and serve with roast meat. Barbecue by brushing with a little oil and cooking until golden brown.

Serving suggestion

For caramelised onion, place onion wedges in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, bay leaf and a sprig of rosemary. Simmer covered for 10 minutes or until softened. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring until a rich brown colour. Store covered in refrigerator and use on grilled steak or tofu burgers, or add to pasta sauces, frittatas and pizza toppings.

For a great salad, thinly slice white, red or salad onion layered with peeled sliced oranges and black olives.

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.

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