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Spring Onion, Egyptian Walking Onion (c)2012

Spring onions are the pantry ingredient of the week at la Domestique. These sweet and succulent Alliums are merely immature red, yellow, or white onions. Harvested early, spring onions have generous green leaves and long thin stalks. Their flesh is moist and delicate, and their mild onion flavor is delicious eaten raw or cooked. At the farmers market, the pungent aroma of spring onions can be detected in the air long before reaching the farm stand stacked high with dangling roots and bound stems. Here in Colorado, the growing season gets off to a slow start, as night frosts are a regular occurrence through May. Spring onions are a welcome sight after so many weeks of only spinach.

When selecting spring onions, look for bright green, perky tops and firm stems- nothing dry or shriveled. Keep spring onions in the fridge loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Use them within a day or two, as the tender stems will turn limp and rapidly loose their flavor. To prepare spring onions for cooking, slice off the roots and green tops and peel off the outer layer. Spring onions can be grilled whole or thinly sliced and eaten raw in salads, tacos, or to garnish soups. Tomorrow is 10 Ways Tuesday and I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with spring onions.

Pictured above is a spring onion I picked up at the Boulder Farmer’s Market, the Egyptian Walking Onion, a variety I’ll be cooking with all week here at la Domestique. They form a bulb at the root like a regular onion, but also produce buds at the tips of the stems with mini-bulbs. As the mini-bulb matures, it gets heavy, causing the stem to bend down to the ground where the bulb develops roots and carries on the cycle. One Egyptian Onion plant can “walk” across the garden. Crazy.

Farmer’s markets are a great place to find colorful, flavorful spring onions. Variety is the spice of life, and I encourage you to seek out the unique as that’s where the great meals can be found. Look for grand green, leafy stalks with purple streaks, pearly white mini-bulbs, and even wild onions. You never know what you might find.

Do you have a favorite local spring onion variety? Tell us about it in the comments section. Click Here.