Wednesday, 4 May 2011

That´s shallot

The type of onion I have sourced in Andalucia




The spring onion as I know it
I am constantly plagued by the question "What is the difference between scallions and green onions?"

This is a problematic vegetable, for it is known by many names; spring or green onions, scallions or Chinese shallots.
I have an expat quandary which further complicates the matter. I've had experience in converting  produce names and varieties... but I am unable to source spring onions here in the Algarve .Nowhere have I seen a substitute for 'Spring/Green onions'.... Here at Casa Rosada we are growing and using chives when required as a garnish but... The Portuguese just do not seem to grow spring onions. On my shopping hops across the bridge to Spain I have managed to source an onion that is half way between scallion and white onion, which appears like an over developed spring onion or small leek.It has a bulbous fat bulb, a little smaller than a golf ball. It is what I think Americans call a green onion.Are you confused.com? You me both.Forget insurance prices what we need is an admirable onion comparison website. Are you supposed to use a different part of the plant (top greens only) or is it the size of the onion that makes the difference? But then again I still do not know exactly what a scallion is."scalogno" in the Italian dictionary says scallion...? Maybe I should become rich by importing them....? NOT

In the Casa Rosada kitchen I use them raw or as a part of salads or Asian recipes. I use diced "scallions" in soups, noodle and seafood dishes, or as part of a stir fry. I use them to  make green curry paste or salad dressings,normally removing the bottom quarter-inch of  the onion before use. 

 

Yotam Ottolenghi´s Spring onion soup 

700g spring onions (a large variety with a thick bulb, if possible)
40g unsalted butter
50ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 whole medium garlic heads, cloves peeled and halved lengthways
3 bay leaves
300g frozen peas
1 medium courgette, diced
1.3 litres vegetable stock
80g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
60g  crème fraîche/parmesan mix
20g mint leaves, roughly chopped
Grated zest of ½ lemon
Salt and black pepper
Cut the white of the spring onions into 1.5cm-long slices and the green into 2.5cm-long segments.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the oil, white spring onion slices, halved garlic cloves and some salt and pepper, and sauté on moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the green spring onion segments and the bay leaves, cook for about 10 minutes, add the peas and courgette, and cook for another five minutes.
Remove half the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Cover the remaining vegetables with the stock, bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Remove the bay leaves, add the parsley and blitz in a food processor or with a hand-held blender. Return the reserved vegetables to the pan and warm up gently. Stir in the kashk, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Transfer the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with chopped mint and lemon zest, and finish with a drizzle of oil.

Ramp up the volume with music to peel spring onions by.......


2 comments:

  1. I too,crave spring onions and have just been given a huge bunch of the above fat half castes...my blacksmith told me they are not designed to be kept for long but to be gobbled up toute de suite unlike the normal onions with papery outer skins.

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  2. I always thought that spring onions were just normal onions (whether red or white) that were just picked when really young . . . time to grow your own! (BTW love the soundtrack!)

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