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How to Use Spring Onion Tops

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Imagine an onion, and your first thought is likely of a papery globe—a storage onion. Those onions have had their roots and greens trimmed as a part of their curing process, a process that extends their shelf life and sets their dry, papery skins. But this time of year, those same onions can be pulled early: You'll find them at the farmers market labeled as spring onions or young onions, still sporting their tender green tops.

SKK is enjoying a bountiful supply of onions from her garden this year, and after picking a bunch of young red and white onions, she asked the Hotline what the tops could be used for.

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Young garlic, not a young onion, but you get the idea.
Young garlic, not a young onion, but you get the idea. Photo by James Ransom

They could go into the compost bin, or be relegated to a freezer bag of scraps for stock, but they don't need to be. Young onion tops can be used almost anywhere you'd use scallions, like in these recipes:

Molly Stevens' Sweet Braised Whole Scallions

Molly Stevens' Sweet Braised Whole Scallions by Genius Recipes

Simple Scallion Pancakes

Simple Scallion Pancakes by Betty

Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork

Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork by gingerroot

Steamed Fish with Ginger & Scallions

Steamed Fish with Ginger & Scallions by Sara Jenkins

Larb Gai (Thai Chicken Salad)

Larb Gai (Thai Chicken Salad) by Alexandra Stafford

Charred Scallion Gremolata

Charred Scallion Gremolata by savorthis

QueenSashy sautés them and uses them in fillings for filo pies or tarts; we're thinking we'd like to try briefly deep-frying them, Genius Fried Asparagus-style.

We want to know what you like to do with young onion tops:​ Continue the conversation on the Hotline post or tell us in the comments below!

Tags: your burning questions, hotline, onions, onion tops