One of my truly great recent recognitions was that I have become spring onion dependent.
Spring onions are markedly different from shallots (Allium cepa, aggregatum group) and the bulb onion (Allium cepa, cepa group). However, some varieties of bulb onion, such as early Lockyer White, South Australian White, Savages White and Gladalan White, are sold as spring onions if they are harvested when the bulb is immature and the leaves are intact.
This penchant in my cuisine began when I noted how dedicated the Catalans were to the vegetable which they call Calçotada
. In Barcelona they host annual festivals
to celebrate the bulb.
So I started buying spring onions regularly and using them more often.
I soon enough noted that with a Spring Onion there is no waste. It is so easy to use the lot: bulb + tops. And there's no pealing like you need to do with a standard onion.
For my dietary penchant , spring onions have a lower carbohydrate content than standard onions
While I experimented initially with grilling them -- as the Catalans love to do -- I soon enough found that I could replace my daily use of standard onions with these beauties. But when you grill them you learn to respect a size that has a thicker gauge than the standard offerings on offer at the fruit and vegetable suppliers.
So I started growing them.
Spring Onions -- despite their name -- are easy to grow all year round. They require much less time in the soil than standard onions. Some varieties clump so you will get at least three for one. If you can get your head past the notion that they are sentenced to being 'salad onions' -- your garden can be very easily self sufficient in Allium before you can say ' where's my garlic got to?'
Snipped above the rooty base bulb, you can immediately replant your onion base when you harvest the top above.
Talk about cut-and-come-again!
My quest now is to grow a range of varieties -- any variety -- I can find and delight in the taste and texture differences.
I treat them like a herb -- something that is always growing in the garden to flavour up any dish. So before the cook up, I go out and harvest this and that...and my spring onions. They store so well in situin the soil so they are always just there, ready to pick.
I pull the bulb, trim the bottom -- plant the hairy root back in the soil and head back to the kitchen with the rest of the stem.