Serious Eats: Recipes

The Crisper Whisperer: Grilled Spring Onions

You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing fruits and vegetables. —The Mgmt.

[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]

From the moment I first tucked into a savory, cheese-covered bowl of French onion soup as a kid, I've been hooked on the idea of onions as the star of a dish. Early springtime, when farmers' markets hold more in the way of promise than actual produce, is the perfect time to offer a little more plate space to the onion.

Although the term "spring onion" is sometimes used colloquially to encompass all onions with edible greens, and although nomenclature varies by English-speaking country, scallions and spring onions are not the same. Spring onions are onions harvested as babies, usually with bulbs of 1 to 2 inches in diameter. If left in the ground, they would develop into mature onions. Scallions, on the other hand, would never develop a round bulb.

Spring onions come in many of the same varieties as mature onions. I used sweet Vidalias this time, but any variety will work. Scallions grill up nicely, too, and you could easily substitute them here. If using scallions, there is no need to separate the dark greens and no need to slice them in half.

Grilled Spring Onions

About the author: Carolyn Cope writes Umami Girl and manages a CSA in New Jersey.

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