If you’ve been following along with our guide to cooking with garlic, you might notice that we don’t use fresh or dried garlic very much.
But in terms of cooking with herbs, it’s a different story.
What are scallions?
Scallions are a variety of onion that has been selectively bred over time to grow faster than other types of onions.
This means that they produce their bulbs early on and harvest them before the bulbs start to form.
This also gives them a milder taste than other varieties of onions.
Scallions can be found at grocery stores all year round and come in several different varieties, including spring onions (also called baby onions), which are smaller than regular scallions, and red onions, which are larger.
What are they used for?
While they may not be quite as common as other varieties of onions, scallions are versatile ingredients and can be used in a wide range of dishes from appetizers and salads to soups and stir-fries.
One of the best ways to enjoy scallions is to chop up a bunch and toss them into your favorite dish.
For example, you could add chopped scallions to a pot of soup to give it more flavor.
How are they grown?
Like many vegetables, scallions are available year round but are generally harvested during the spring season when they are young.
This helps to ensure that the plants don’t get too large and that the bulbs form quickly so that they can be harvested before they reach maturity.
Spring onions are typically harvested before the seed leaves begin to develop and mature, while summer onions will continue to grow until they reach full size.
What is the difference between a scallion and a green onion?
The main difference between scallions and other types of onions is that scallions are harvested before the bulb starts to form.
This results in smaller bulbs that are less pungent in flavor and texture.
In fact, some people find that they’re easier to digest because the bulbs aren’t as strong.
Another thing to note about scallions is that they are usually harvested around the first week of April when they are still small, so they’re ready to pick right away.
If you wait too long, the bulbs will become tough and fibrous.
Can scallions be eaten raw?
Yes, scallions can be eaten raw.
However, this isn’t recommended because of the potential risk of botulism.
Botulism is an extremely serious condition that occurs when bacteria grows in food without proper refrigeration and then releases toxins into the body.
While scallions are generally safe to eat, they can carry a number of harmful bugs that cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested.
If you are going to consume uncooked foods, such as raw veggies, try to make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands after handling them.
You should also avoid consuming foods that are left out of the fridge for longer periods of time.
Foods like cold cuts and unpasteurized cheese can increase the risk of botulism by allowing the dangerous bug to linger in the environment.
How should scallions be stored?
When storing scallions, you should always store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for several weeks.
Make sure that you wrap them tightly in plastic bags to prevent the stems from drying out.
As with other vegetables, it’s important to only cut off the ends of the stem so that you don’t accidentally take the entire plant with you when you go to remove it from the refrigerator.
How long do scallions last?
Uncooked scallions will stay good for two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
Once they start to deteriorate, you should discard them immediately.
What are some recipes that include scallions?
Scallions are great ingredients to incorporate into a wide variety of dishes, especially those containing Asian flavors.
One of the most popular uses for scallions is to provide a tangy addition to salad dressings, sauces, and dips.
Another common way to use scallions is as part of a garnish, whether it’s for meats, fish, vegetables, or desserts.
You can also pair scallions with herbs and spices to create an interesting twist on classic dishes.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate scallions into a recipe is to slice them thinly and toss them into your next batch of homemade pizza dough.
The sliced scallions will add a burst of flavor to the crust while giving it an attractive presentation.
Are there any health benefits to eating scallions?
There are several benefits to consuming scallions.
Some of these include helping to improve overall appetite, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, improving digestion, and even lowering blood pressure.
In general, though, the health benefits of eating scallions are similar to the benefits of eating other types of onions.
These include preventing cancer, increasing immune system function, boosting metabolism, and promoting weight loss.
Are there any safety concerns associated with eating scallions?
Just like all raw vegetables and fruits, scallions can carry potentially infectious illnesses that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
These illnesses can be passed through consumption of contaminated food products, which is why it’s essential to wash your hands after touching scallions and to never leave them out in the open air for prolonged periods of time.
To help protect against illness, you should always cook foods that contain raw scallions before consuming them.
Also, remember that you shouldn’t eat more than one serving of raw scallions per day.
And if you experience any symptoms related to possible exposure to a foodborne illness, contact a doctor immediately.
Is there anything else I need to know about eating scallions?
While we recommend cutting up a few bunches of scallions every time you go shopping, you should limit yourself to just one serving per week.
Otherwise, you run the risk of developing a bacterial infection called shiga toxin poisoning, which can lead to seizures, kidney failure, and death.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to wash your hands after handling scallions and to avoid leaving them out in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
Even if you purchase your scallions prewashed, you should still rinse them under clean running water to kill any germs that might have accumulated on the outer layer.
Scallions Salad Recipe
- 1 bowl
- Remove the scallions’ white and green portions. Slice the white pieces into 1″-long, long, thin strips after halving them lengthwise. With your fingers pointing inward, hold the greens firmly on the cutting board. Position the knife at a 45° angle, pressing the blade’s side against your knuckles. Greens should be thinly sliced while being moved toward the knife with the opposite hand while using a rocking motion and maintaining the same angle with the knife.
- In a medium bowl, combine the scallion whites with the rice vinegar, sugar, and a dash of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- While doing so, lay the knife at a 45° angle, placing the side against your knuckles, and hold the chili on the cutting board with your hand, fingertips pointing inward. Slice the chile thinly while rocking the knife at the same angle.