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Seasonality, The Spring Onion

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The humble Spring Onion, also known as Scallion, is a worldwide star of cuisine appearing in many dishes from Afghanistan to Wales, via Mexico, Singapore and Latvia.

It is part of the allium family and shares many of the benefits that onions, leeks and garlic bring to us in terms of flavour and nutrients.  They can be eaten raw or cooked.  They are high in vitamin A, C and K; they assist digestion and help with blood circulation.

The name Scallion can be traced back to ancient Greece where it appeared in texts by the philosopher Theophrastus (perhaps in a favourite recipe!), and further back to the Bronze Age land of Canaan mentioned in the Bible, and to this day Scallions are used in the rituals for Passover.

Scallions and spring onions have a delicate flavour and are used as a garnish, in salads and salsa.  Many Asian foods ask for spring onions, often using the green part of the vegetable, beautifully sliced in a stir fry or broth.  They go well with seafood as they provide a more delicate flavour and colourful appearance than white onion.

They are an important part of food and festivals.  In Spain there is festival at the end of winter as Spring is beginning to appear, where Scallions are griddled and served with Romesco sauce.  In India they are eaten raw as an appetiser.  In Ireland, Champ is a traditional dish where spring onions are mixed into mashed potato with lots of butter.  In Asian countries such as the Philippines spring onions are ground into pastes with ginger and chillies to make a condiment; in Vietnam they are fermented for a traditional New Year delicacy.

Spring onions are readily available at supermarkets, however they are easy to grow, in a garden or tub and would enhance your herb garden.

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Test out some of our recipes that include spring onion, Bacon and Gruyere Tart with Spring Onion

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