One of the wonderful things about spring is access to spring onions. Spring onions are typically planted at the end of summer so that they grow over the winter months, ready for harvesting in the spring.
Spring onions are more mature than both scallions and green onions, but are still a type of young onion, which are picked before they have a chance to grow larger. You can identify a spring onion by the small, round, white bulb at its base. While it appears similar to scallions and green onions, its rounded bulb gives it way.
Spring onions are also slightly stronger in flavor than scallions and green onions due to their maturity. They still have a gentler flavor than regular onions, which have been left in the ground much longer and grow much larger.
To prepare spring onions wash them under running water to free them of any dirt and grit. Trim the root end, but only the very, very end. Every last bit of white packs a lot of flavor. If you’re braising or grilling them whole just trim off the top most inch of the greens and you’re done.
If you are using spring onions where you would use scallions the prep is nearly the same. Slice them thinly crosswise for adding to a salad or a vinaigrette. If you’re using them in a stir-fry, cut them on the bias.
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If you can’t find any of those oh-so-fleeting ramps at your local farmers’ market then have no fear, as there are plenty of other onion options available this time of year. Turn to Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorites.
Scallions: A supermarket staple. They have a peppery bite that isn’t overpowering. Scallions (Green Onions) are best used chopped raw or charred in salads or as a garnish.
Leeks: Leeks have a slight garlic flavor that mellows when cooked. Braised to an almost creamy texture, they are one of the best side dishes.
Spring Onions: Spring onions are a more mature scallion with large, sweet bulbs and pungent, spicy green tops. They are excellent for roasting whole and finished with sea salt and s bit of lime juice.
Flowering Chives: These mature chives are bursting with gorgeous purple flowers that taste just like wonderful chives. Use both flowers and finely cut stems in salads.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen