Mellow Out Tennessee Onions' Intense Flavor With A Squeeze Of Lemon

When it comes to casseroles, Tennessee onions rise to the top of what you should be cooking. This easy dish is all about those sweet Vidalia onions that have melted to perfection along with some savory cheddar cheese, herbs, and butter. If you are a fan of the bulbous veggie, then this dish is for you. However, if you find the taste of onions to be a little overwhelming, you could squeeze a little lemon juice over them as Tess Le Moing does with her Tennessee onion medley recipe that she developed for Tasting Table.

Le Moing uses a combination of Vidalia onions, red onions, shallots, and garlic to create her version of this classic dish, but she turns to the power of lemon juice's acidity to not just mellow out any bitter or intense taste these babies might be harboring but also to balance it. Additionally, she adds a little sugar to highlight those natural sweet flavors. While Vidalia onions are sweet by nature, red onions are particularly pungent and can be a little overwhelming.

Vinegar works too

What determines an onion's taste profile? Whether or not an onion is going to have a little bit of a bite to it is dictated by two things: its variety and the sulfur content of the soil it is grown in. The less sulfur, the less strong an onion's taste will be. 

If you are worried about adding a lemon taste to your Tennessee onions, you could add a little vinegar instead and balance it out with a bit of sugar. Either way, Le Moing's onion trick is perfect if you are making Tennessee onions and you either don't have Vidalia onions or you want to be creative and use another variety.

Yellow onions and white onions are two types that could benefit from a little lemon juice to tone down any sharpness they might have and will still have a lovely sweetness to them. You can also use lemon for other recipes that are onion-rich, especially recipes that require them to be raw, including that next bowl of pico de gallo you might be crafting or those slender slices of onion on a sandwich or burger. The lemon will brighten their flavor and even add a little tang.