Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: More than simply a garnish, scallions are just as versatile as your other favorite alliums.
Scallions are alliums (along with garlic, shallots, leeks, and ramps -- which are wild leeks), and although the term scallion -- and its other popular moniker, green onion -- could apply to any young onion, “true” scallions are bunching onions. These onions stay long and lean, have a lengthy white shank (2, below) about the width of their leaves (1, below), and would never bulb out the way other onions would if left to grow to maturity.
Look for bunches of scallions with vibrant green tops and long white stalks; keep them in the refrigerator until needed. To prep scallions, treat them like their doppelganger, spring onions: Trim off just the very bottom (3) -- slicing off just above the roots, but no more -- and the top inch or so of the greens. From there, they can be left whole, or sliced -- cut the stalk crosswise (7, below), or on the bias (6, below), and the greens can be thinly sliced (4, below), or cut into segments (5, below).
More: Learn how to use another scallion look-alike: green garlic.
Diane Madison says, “If I’ve run out of onions, I feel at a loss as to how to begin dinner…” And we get it, because onions are the starting point for so many good things. Yet for some reason, we don’t always allow scallions the same versatility. They’re often relegated to work solely as a garnish, adding a pop of green and a little bite to your dishes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are four different ways to give scallions a bit more of the limelight.
Stuffed into bread
Is there anything that's not good in bread? We think not.
Studding a savory pancake
You get vegetables and you get pancakes. Add an egg and dinner is done.
Alone in all their glory
Left whole, scallions will be your new favorite side dish.
Tell us: Do you call them scallions or green onions? What are your favorite ways to use them?
Photos by James Ransom