They are the basic building blocks of any dish, and spring markets are awash with them.
The beauty of spring bulbs – we’re talking green garlic, garlic onions, chives, baby leeks, green onions and (swoon!) stingrays – lies in their versatility. Not as spicy as their adult family members (look at you yellow and red onions!), they can be used in abundance to add depth to any recipe. They have a more vegetal, less lethal look, and are simply gorgeous. Admittedly, I go a little over the top buying them every spring, but cooking with them is healthy.
The key to keeping these beauties is to keep them cool and dry. Try wrapping them in a dry towel, putting them in an airtight plastic bag, and storing them in the refrigerator to keep them from forming slime, as the delicate greens can become slimy after a few days. Another plus is that almost all of them are edible. With green garlic, you can use the entire bulb and stem. Not only are the flowers of chives beautiful, but they also make a great garnish on a salad or other dish as a delicious side dish. Don’t be afraid to use the greens of young leeks, as they haven’t yet become woody, as is the case with larger, older leeks. Chop, sauté, marinate, whatever. The world is your bulb!
I recently interviewed six famous Chicago chefs, and almost all of them named humble ramp as their favorite spring ingredient. But hurry up because they won’t be on the market for long.
Make ramp pesto. Separate the leaves from the ramp bulbs and blanch the leaves in salted water, rinse with cold water and pat dry; Pulse in a food processor with green garlic, toasted pine nuts, a few handfuls of baby spinach, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper to taste, then add olive oil to thin the pasta to your desired consistency. Stir in the pasta and a little water that the pasta was cooked in.
Light up the lights quickly. Trim the roots and wash the bulbs well (stems and leaves removed), taking care to remove any slimy layers. Place vertically in a clean Mason jar, bulb side down. Heat 1 cup each of white wine or apple cider vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan, along with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, one or two bay leaves, a few black peppercorns, and a small tablespoon of pickling spices, until the sugar and salt dissolve and the mixture thickens. will dissolve. boiled. Remove from heat and pour the hot liquid over the ramps to cover, leaving some room at the top. Screw on the lid and set it on the table to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. Give it a few days before using, then start grinding it up and adding it to salads, pasta, pizza and more.
Of course, I am a fanatic of garlic, but I just love this spring vegetable. Much milder and brighter tasting than fully ripe garlic bulbs, you can use a lot more than you think and still appreciate the subtle flavor.
Make your favorite Alice Water pasta dish.
Heat 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add 3 thinly sliced green garlic cloves (no peeling necessary!), a good pinch of red pepper flakes, a tablespoon of chopped parsley, and two ounces of water. Cover the pot to let the mixture steam, stirring occasionally until the mixture is soft. Add a tablespoon of water if the garlic starts to stick.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of spaghetti until al dente; reserve one cup of pasta water before draining. Add the cooked pasta to the garlic mixture and stir; add half of the pasta water to add creaminess. Add more if needed. Garnish with chopped green garlic leaves or scallions and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
You will find them in many fried dishes where they are used as greens. They add a pleasant aroma to the simplest dishes.
Fry them with eggs.
Crack six eggs into a bowl and mix with ¼ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, a few pinches of pepper, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and 1½ tablespoons water. Beat for at least half a minute to mix thoroughly. Add 2 cups of peeled, chopped garlic onion. Heat a wok or deep skillet until very hot, then reduce heat and add ¼ cup canola or sunflower oil. Stir, then add the egg mixture, stirring constantly with a spatula so that the eggs and green onions are cooked but not browned. You want the eggs to stay soft and moist. Serve immediately.
Try one of these proven recipes.
The internet is an endless resource of recipes, but how do you know which one to trust? Not all recipes are the same. Here are some of them that perfectly showcase spring onions.
Pork and Garlic Roast with Green Onions from the Omnivore Cookbook
Martha Stewart Creamy Soup and Barley Soup
Smitten Kitchen Spring Salad with New Potatoes
Grilled Leek with Romesco Sauce by Food & Wine
Half-Baked Harvest Potato Leek with Cheesy Onions