In Season Now: Green Onions

The stalls at farmers markets are loaded with choices these days. The tables overflow with greens, late spring delights like rhubarb and sweet peas, and radishes and herbs.

As we hit June, green onions (sometimes called scallions) are thick and plump, looking almost like mini leeks. But they aren’t—they are their own, distinct onion relative … white ends that fade into light green and then darker green. With a mellow, slightly sweet flavor, these onion relatives aren’t as sinewy as leeks or as piquant as onions themselves.

Don’t mistake them for spring onions either, which are a delight all their own, with small onion bulbs on long stalks.

When you see green onions at the farmer’s market, buy them. Always. You can eat them raw, sliced and used in vinaigrettes, tossed in salads and sprinkled on pizzas. Green onions are also delightful sauteed and used in so many different ways. Try them piled on toasted slices of Italian bread with a little freshly grated Romano cheese or spooned over grilled chicken breasts. Or, make an easy side dish like this one.

Protein-rich quinoa is combined with sauteed green onions that are cooked in a little olive oil and butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. They’re finished off with white wine (don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off!) and a touch of hot sauce.

Green Onion Quinoa

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, prepared (2 cups water)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp unsalted butter

2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced with 2 tbsp dark green slices reserved

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup white wine

2 drops hot sauce

Rinse the quinoa well under cool water. Combine with 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown.

Add the white wine and hot sauce to the pan. Stir well. Cook until the wine reduces by half — 3-4 minutes.

Stir together the sauteed green onions and the quinoa. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as desired. Enjoy.

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