Gourmet onion is prized for delectable, deep flavor.
120-150 days. Cippolini (Italian for “little onion”) boasts outsize gourmet flavor. Rarely found in groceries, cippolinis’ small size and flat shape make them perfect for roasting. Once roasted and caramelized, this white variety’s full sweetness and flavor will astonish and delight. Ranging from 1-3” in diameter, saucer-shaped bulbs have translucent, yellowish flesh, with thin, papery skins. Toss quartered, roasted cippolini with pasta, clams and roasted garlic. If cool and dry, cippolini will keep for up to a month.
Sow onion seeds in average soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall. Sow thinly in rows 12" apart and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days. **Make sure to choose the correct variety for your day length. Southern gardeners should select Short Day varieties; Northern gardeners do best with Long Day varieties; Gardeners in the middle of the country should select Intermediate Day varieties but can use some Short Day varieties.
How to Grow
Thin to stand 3" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. "Harden off" seedlings by moving them outside to a sheltered location for one week prior to transplanting. Transplant hardened-off seedlings outside after all danger of heavy frost. Set plants 2-3" apart in rows 12-16" apart. In the North, plant onion sets as soon as the soil can be worked. In the South, plant onion sets in the fall. Do not plant onion family crops in the same place 2 years in a row.
Pick green onions when plants reach 6-8" tall. When harvesting onion bulbs, about 100 days from sowing, bend the tops over when about 1/4 of the tops have already fallen over and turned yellow. After a few days, pull the bulbs and cover them with the foliage to prevent sunburn. Allow onions to dry in the garden for up to a week, then cure them indoors in a warm, dry place with good air circulation for 2-3 weeks. Then cut off the foliage, leaving 1" above the top of the bulb. Put bulbs in mesh onion bags or old pantyhose and store in a cool, dry location.