Also known as green onions and spring onions, scallions are part of the allium (onion) family.
What are Scallions?
Scallions have a white base and long green hollow tube-like stalks. When still in the ground, they look a little like chives, but if you pull them out you’ll see a white bulb that looks like it could grow into a sphere-ish onion.
Both whites and greens can be used for cooking either raw or cooked.
They grow in patches and are available year round, although their natural harvest peak is spring and summer. They are easy to grow and often take over gardens.
What Do Scallions Taste Like?
Most of the time scallions can be categorized as a mild onion flavor, but I think we can all attest to getting that rare one that makes your eyes water, so I don’t want to stereotype them.
The flavor consists of two parts: white bottoms and green tops. The bottoms taste more like onion with a sweet aftertaste, while the green top has been described as fresh and grassy. It is often used as a garnish due to it’s even milder flavor.
Scallions can be eaten raw or cooked. They are very common in many global cuisines, but most notably Latin and Asian foods.
The thinner the slice, the more flavor they release. Use whites for onion essence and greens for fresh, snappy garnish.
One of my favorite ways to eat them is charred on the grill. They complement just about any grilled meat, are beautiful to decorate a plate and also fabulous on burgers.
Shopping for Scallions
Scallions are generally easy to find in grocery stores and farmers markets. They might range in size, but look for a firm base that it isn’t slimy or soggy with brightly colored and stiff greens. Avoid any that aren’t green or wilted.
To store, wrap in a damp paper towel and place them in the vegetable crisper. They should be good for 3-5 days, although I’ve had a couple that were usable past a week. I really depends on how fresh they were at the store to begin with.