Vidalia Onion Salad


Yield: About 4 1/2 cups

3 or 4 Vidalia onions
1 cup granular Splenda
2 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp celery salt (or to taste)

Cookbook author Sue Epstein, formerly of Atlanta, now lives in Efrat, Israel. Whenever she makes this dish, at least 5 people ask for the recipe including one friend’s husband, who took one taste and told his wife to hide it from the other guests so that the two of them could enjoy it later! My taste testers loved it and said it reminded them of creamy coleslaw.

1. Peel and dice the onions; you should have about 6 cups. (To save time, you can cut the onions in chunks and then chop, in batches, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, using quick on/off pulses.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the Splenda, water, and vinegar. Add the onions and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. While marinating, the onions will reduce slightly in volume.

3. Once fully marinated, drain the onions using a fine mesh strainer. Add the drained onions, mayonnaise, and celery salt to a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate before serving. Serve chilled.

Keeps for up to 1 week in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long).

100 calories per 1/2 cup serving, 14.6 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber, 1 g protein, 4.5 g fat (0.7 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 221 mg sodium, 161 mg potassium, 0 mg iron, 24 mg calcium

Serving Suggestions

Serve as a side dish with fish, chicken, or meat. To use as an hors d’oeuvre, serve with wholegrain crackers or Baked Tortilla Chips (page 59).

Chef’s Secrets

  • On-yums! Vidalia and other sweet onions are not available in Israel, so Sue uses regular or red onions.
  • No More Tears: Sue’s eyes are very sensitive, so when she has a lot of onions to peel and chop, she puts on the gas mask they issued to her family during the first Gulf War. She’s armed and ready!
  • Fight Onion Breath: Eat a couple of sprigs of fresh parsley, chew on citrus peel, or rinse your mouth with lemon juice and water to eliminate onion breath. (The odor comes from eating raw onions, not cooked ones.)
  • Lemon Aid: Lemon juice removes onion odors from your hands, knives, and cutting boards.
  • Sodi-Yum! Celery salt adds wonderful flavor to coleslaw and other marinated salads.

See Chef’s Secrets on page 304 following the Caramelized Onions recipe.

Nutrition Notes

Sweet Choice: Sue got the recipe from her friend Gloria Glusman, who makes it with sugar and regular mayonnaise. Sue modified the recipe by using granular Splenda and light mayonnaise to make it more carb-friendly. Gloria’s version contains 220 calories, 33.0 g carbohydrate, 9.9 g fat (1.4 g saturated) per serving.

Raw onions have more health benefits than cooked ones—the sulphur compounds in raw onions help combat heart disease by raising good hdl levels and thinning the blood, which helps prevent blood clots—but any way you slice them, onions are good for you.

Raw onions contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids, which help prevent cancer, as well as anti-bacterial flavonoids, which help protect against ulcers.