Spring onions add a hint of allium flavour, but with a lighter touch than a traditional onion.
Their flavour is less intense and more subtle, so they are ideal added raw to salads or sprinkled on top of a cooked dish.
A scallion or spring onion are the same thing just named differently, they are also called green onions by some.
These thin stems are either the new harvest from the onions plants that we are more familiar with, not quite allowing them the time to mature, or they can be grown from a different variety of plant that will never expand into a bulb.
The soft refined onions are usually available year-round.
The white part contains the most intense flavour, while some cooks discard the darker green tops, the whole thing can be eaten.
The greener leaves are a nice addition to a salad, similar in flavour to a chive.
When choosing spring onions in a shop look for bright colour and undamaged stalks as well as firm stem ends, and they are best stored in the fridge.
The allium family supplies the backbone for most cuisine’s around the world, a mixture of onions, shallots, leeks or garlic are contained in almost all savoury dishes that are created.
The many varieties from the one family can produce a wide range of flavours and can also be treated very differently.
Slowly sautéing a brown onion in some butter will give you a very different base to the quickly-fried slices of green spring onion.
Their versatility is key and the health benefits are widely agreed upon.
A wonderful Asian inspired dressing can be made by adding some grated ginger, sesame oil and garlic to some finely-chopped spring onion.
I often dilute the sesame oil with some sunflower oil as it can be intense if used alone.
A squeeze of lime juice and some seasoning and it makes a fresh bright dressing which can be kept in a jar in the fridge for a few days.
It is particularly good sprinkled over some white fish before grilling.
The cracker recipe included can be made without the caraway if you prefer.
They are wonderful served with a scoop of the Syrian beetroot dip or a slather of the radish butter, and can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Rye flour gives a slightly bitter taste that is synonymous with Scandinavian baking.
It is difficult to separate the husk from the interior grain in rye so it is likely to contain more fibre and nutrients than a more refined wheat flour.
QUICK MID-WEEK MEALS
6 spring onions, chopped
1/4 of a green chilli, chopped
4 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of lemon juice and the zest of 2 lemons
1 tbs of cider vinegar
10 radishes, topped and tailed
4 spring onions, very finely chopped
zest of half a lemon
60g of butter, at room temperature
4 slices of crunchy bread
mixed green leaves for four
a handful of almonds, toasted and chopped
a handful of pumpkin seeds, chopped
200g of feta cheese, crumbled
Blitz four of the spring onions, chilli, lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon with the vinegar and oil until it is pale green and smooth.
Taste and season.
Grate the radishes and place on some paper towel to soak up any excess juice. Finely chopped the other two spring onions.
Stir the radish, lemon remaining zest and chopped spring onion into the butter and season.
Toast the bread and spread with the radish butter.
Toss the leaves, nuts, seeds and feta in the dressing and serve with the radish buttered toast on the side.
spaghetti for four
a dash of olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
a large handful of sugar snap peas, sliced
2 tbs of wild garlic pesto
2 balls of buffalo mozzarella, broken into pieces
1 tin of sardines, drained. I use a slightly smoked sardines that are preserved in olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced
Put the pasta on to boil in slightly salty water and drain when cooked. Retain the cooking water.
In the meantime heat the oil and gently sauté the shallots and garlic until they are starting to turn golden. Stir in the sugar snap peas.
Stir the garlic mixture through the warm pasta as well as the pesto.
Stir in the mozzarella and season with black pepper.
Add a few spoons of the water the pasta was cooked in.
Serve with the sardines very gently stirred through and the spring onions sprinkled on top.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
This dip is a good alternative to a chickpea based one such as hummus.
The flavours blend a little if you make it an hour or so in advance.
2 small cloves of garlic, halved
3 medium beetroot, roasted or boiled
2 tbs of tahini
3 tbs of lemon juice, zest of 1
2 tbs of olive oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Place the halved cloves of garlic in some boiling water for two minutes.
It helps to soften the often harsh taste of raw garlic.
Blend the garlic, beetroot, tahini, lemon juice, zest and olive oil together until smooth.
Taste and season.
Sprinkle with the spring onion before serving.
300g of rye flour
a pinch of sea salt
½ tsp of baking powder
30g of butter
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of caraway seeds
170 mls of water
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
Rub the butter into the flour mix and add the honey and caraway seeds.
Add the water and form a dough. Place it into the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm it up.
Flour a surface and roll the dough very thinly.
Prick it completely with a fork and cut into thin crackers.
Bake at 200 degrees for about 12 minutes, until just starting to turn golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
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