Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe Inspiration: Celebrating Scallions & Spring Onions in the Garden and Kitchen

And Tessa Kiros' Beautiful New Cookbook

Red Candy Apple spring onions - Farmgirl Fare
Freshly harvested Red Candy Apple spring onions (and two supervisors)

Did you know that if you space your onions two inches apart rather than four when planting them in the garden, you'll be able to enjoy homegrown scallions and spring onions (which are simply young onions) with very little extra effort, and without taking up any extra space? That's my kind of gardening.

For more about growing onions, check out this post on In My Kitchen Garden, Growing Onions from Purchased Plants - Ordering and Planning, which also includes links to my other onion posts.

This spring I planted about 240 little purchased onion plants, and we've been scarfing up scallions for weeks. Thanks to all of you who offered up ideas for What To Do with 125 Scallions and Your Recipes and Favorite Ways to Use Green Onions back in 2008, I have all sorts of green onion inspiration.

More photos and recipe ideas below. . .

I have to admit, though, that we've mostly just been chopping them up and tossing big handfuls into simple salads of garden lettuce (from our recent 3½ pound lettuce haul) drizzled with Homemade Lowfat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

Eggs and onions always go so well together, and the simple frittata supper is a busy farmgirl's handy standby, especially when the hens are laying three or four dozen flavorful (and colorful!) eggs a week. We've been enjoying them once or twice a week, loaded with green onions.

Savory cheese and scallion scones - Farmgirl Fare

Savory Feta Cheese and Scallion Scones, which freeze beautifully, are the perfect accompaniment. They also make great little sandwiches.

Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad
Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad (recipe here)

We've been eating a lot of tuna salad lately, too, including this Healthy Swiss Chard Tuna Salad with Scallions and Kalamatas. My Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Scallions, Broccoli Stems, and Cottage Cheese is another great way to use up scallions—and Swiss chard (which is one of my favorite things in the garden, and so easy to grow from seed).

Sour Cream and Onion Dip
This Sour Cream and Onion Dip is another easy favorite (recipe and foodie travel stories here).

And if I still have any green onions left in the fridge by the time the first garden tomatoes arrive, they'll be going straight into a batch of Fiesta Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip. And then there's the Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw with High Kickin' Creamy Tomato Dressing.

So many scrumptious things to do with scallions!

freshly picked Texas 1015 super sweet spring onions - Farmgirl Fare
Texas 1015 Super Sweet spring onions

As your onion plants get bigger, you can enjoy small bulbs along with the green tops. The Red Candy Apple spring onions pictured at the top of this post are flavorful and sweet and a joy to behold (if, like me, looking at beautiful vegetables make you happy).

Caramelized onions are one of the best inventions ever and a perfect pizza topping. I definitely see a Three Onion and Three Cheese Pizza in our future, made with my favorite easy pizza crust recipe which requires just three minutes of kneading.

Farmgirl Fare - Garbanzo Bean (chickpea) Salad with red onion, feta, and cilantro

And for more onion inspiration, I'm turning to Tessa Kiros, whose delightful and popular cookbooks celebrate the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

I love this Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Salad with Red Onion, Scallions, Cilantro, Parsley, Feta Cheese (pictured above), which is adapted from Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes. It calls for three cups of chopped red onion that are cooked until softened and sweet, then cooked for another minute with lots of fresh garlic.

This Slow Roasted Greek Style Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Oregano, Potatoes, and Swiss Chard—which is now my favorite way to cook leg of lamb—is adapted from Falling Cloudberries, too.

Apples for Jam: A Colorful Cookbook is another Tessa gem. It's a fun, playful book that came out a few years ago and offers anecdotal memories about family, friends, and the joys of childhood alongside it's 200 easy, kid-friendly, comfort food recipes.

GreekKitchen_Jacket.indd
Tessa's new cookbook, Food from Many Greek Kitchens, is a 336-page, full color hardcover treasure that offers up plenty of onion inspiration, too, in dishes like Artichokes and Fava Beans, Classic Greek Salad with Feta, Chunky White Bean Soup, Baked Lamb with Rice-Shaped Pasta, and the most amazing looking little Fried Tomato Fritters with red onion and fresh mint.

I've already bookmarked at least two dozen of the 115 recipes, and each time I flip through the pages it's like taking a mini vacation. I instantly feel as if I've been whisked away on an intimate eating tour of Greece. The colorful snapshots and vignettes of everyday life are gorgeous.

Freshly picked Texas 1015 Super Sweet spring onions  - Farmgirl Fare

Okay, time to return from Greece and get back to the garden, the kitchen, and reality—which right now are thankfully full of onions.

Disclosure: Besides having a pretty serious cookbook buying habit, I also sometimes receive review copies of new books from publishers. But no matter how I acquire a book, I won't recommend it unless I really like it and think it's worth purchasing.

© FarmgirlFare.com, where you'll find links to 120 of my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index—including many that don't call for onions!

4 comments:

  1. I love your blog. It's like an online encyclopedia of just about everything I need to know. And I need to know all about onions! Thank you for being so organized with all your links and tags and stuff. Love it.

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  2. Beautiful onions! I agree about carmelized onions being great, on ANYTHING! :)

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  3. Thanks Susan for including your link to your travels foods essay. I do so love your writing. Enjoy your beautiful onions!

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  4. Those are pretty. We use a lot of spring onion.

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