Kitchen Confidence

How to Prep Spring Onions

By • May 14, 2013 • 11 Comments

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How to Prep Spring Onions, brought to you by Wüsthof.

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: 4 ways to handle spring's mild, pleasantly muted onions.

Onions are indispensable -- they're the start to most good things, once they turn quietly sweet and translucent. They also happen to be a great scapegoat for mid-prep crying. (Yes, we've all done it.) 

Spring, though, brings onions that are spared their punky, raucous adolescence. They're a softer expression of the allium family -- calmer, milder. And it all makes perfect sense: a spring onion is just an onion that is harvested before adulthood, sometimes earlier. Best of all? You can prep them without shedding a tear. (If you've had a bad day, reach for a full-grown onion instead.) Here's how.

More: Another spring vegetable to prep, slice, and chop? Asparagus.

Wash the onions under running water to free them of dirt and grit, and then 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.

Since you can use spring onions where you would scallions in most dishes, 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. 

To prep the greens, just slice them crosswise using your meanest knife skills. The thinner the better for garnishing something like miso soup, but if they're going into puréed soup or scallion pancakes, slice with reckless abandon. No guest will be the wiser. 

Photos by James Ransom

This article was brought to you by Wüsthof.

 

Jump to Comments (11)

Tags: kitchen confidence, spring onion, how to, prep, onion, spring onions, how-to & diy

Comments (11)

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5 months ago Ginger Noone

There are many things in the culinary world that I don't even realize I would like to know until I read something like this. I do find it interesting, the distinction. HillaryHudson, I appreciate these type of articles for that very reason. If I knew everything there is to know about food and cooking, then maybe I would not feel that way. I have a curious mind, but don't always know the questions to ask. :)

Stringio

over 1 year ago Emily Hubbard

Spring onions remind me of my childhood! My mother thought there was nothing better than a spring onion with greens (turnip, mustard, spinach, etc.), and cornsticks than this combination! Other than Vidalia onions, these are the sweetest - Emily

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over 1 year ago Astates

I just would like to know why spring onions are better in this recipe than scallions. Taste? Texture? I just want to understand why one would be better than the other.

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over 1 year ago Astates

I thought they were the same as well-are they milder than scallions?

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over 1 year ago eizelle

"Since you can use spring onions where you would scallions in most dishes, the prep is nearly the same."
It is because they are the same!

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

They actually aren't! Spring onions will eventually mature into onions if left in the ground, whereas scallions won't develop a bulb.

Bdaycupcake1

over 1 year ago hillaryhudson

This was not a helpful article, in fact, I am still trying to figure out why you featured it at all.

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

We featured it because our mission is to help people cook more (and because we think spring onions are worth seeking out).

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over 1 year ago JohnnyB

I found this article very helpful. Some of us are learning to cook by ourselves and these simple features in the "kitchen confidence" series give us guidance where no where else is around to do so.

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

So glad to hear this.

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over 1 year ago Trena

I've been enjoying Spring onions all season. This is a really nice article with gorgeous photos!