Allium is a genus of plant that includes all onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives, according to Allium Central. These vegetables grow bulbous roots under the ground that are edible and are high in sulfur, which gives them their unique flavor. Alliums contain allicin, a component which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and helps your body fight disease. Before you prepare any alliums, be sure to wash them well with warm soapy water to get rid of any pesticides.
Cut yellow, red, white or sweet onions into 1/4 inch rings for sandwiches or salads. Cut them into small squares by cutting the rings into sections vertically and horizontally for use in dips or salads.
Mince or grate garlic into tiny pieces for use in dips, such as hummus.
Cut green onions or chives into ¼ inch pieces for use in salads or as toppings for baked potatoes.
Fried or Sautéed
Place cooking oil in a pan and heat it up to about 200 degrees F.
Cut onions into square bits or 1/4 inch rings, depending on the recipe. Place them in the hot pan and cook them, constantly stirring, until they are translucent. You can cook them for a shorter amount of time for a stronger flavor.
Mince garlic or cut it into thin strips and place it in a hot pan with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.
Boiled or in Soups
Fill a pot with water and turn on the heat.
Cut onions into square chunks or 1/4 inch rings and place them in the water. Allow them to cook until they are soft.
Cut leeks into ¼ inch rings and place them in the pot. Allow them to simmer until they are soft. You can also boil leeks whole. Remove them from the water when finished to create a leek soup base.
Cut onions into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick rings.
Coat the onions with a thin layer of oil or batter and any herbs or spices you desire.
Place them on a baking sheet and cook in an oven until they are light brown and soft.
About this Author
Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.