Or on your cutting board, in your soup pot, your salads, your stews, your pasta, and even your pancakes if you are so minded. Scallions may be one of those frequently unsung ingredients that inject the zing into a dish or balances the solidity of dense flavors. It adds a bright, pungent freshness to whatever it weds. A member of the wide ranging and multi-layered onion family, it has been a vegetable of contention for centuries. Noah Webster and his successors defined it as a malformed and perhaps diseased onion. Random House did slightly better, calling it an onion that didn’t form a bulb. Fortunately, these folks have stayed out of the world’s kitchens.
Scallions are sometimes called green onions or spring onions. Apparently, there are folks who confuse the scallion with another family member, the shallot, using the terms interchangeably. Even the eminent Waverly Root weighed in on this confusion contributing a significant amount of comment without clarity. Honestly, they don’t look remotely like one another. What is the problem?
Though scallion is a native of Asia, this lanky spring onion with its hollow green tube leaves is now at home around the globe. It is intrinsic to many cuisines, but especially those of Asian and Latin and South American. In China the scallion is used in the medicine cabinet and the kitchen equally. It has a 2000 year-old reputation of clearing up the common cold, dispelling both fungal and bacterial infections, and the capacity to induce cleansing sweat. Chinese cuisine, however, puts it to much more inventive use. One of the most popular Chinese snacks is fresh Scallion Pancakes. And where would Peking Duck be without its roasted duck slices and curly-headed raw scallions rolled up in a paper-thin crepe?
This late winter and spring has brought us lots of unwelcome events and situations. Happily, it has also brought scallions for the season willing to lend a hand in preparing the pleasures of the table. Check out the website for a number of recipes using scallions, including Chilled Cucumber Dill Soup. Zoodle Pad Thai, Creamy Turnip Soup and Pork Kabobs with Yogurt-Mint Sauce. For today, Kay Carroll is contributing a delicious and easy recipe called Linguini With Cashews and Scallions. It looks like a wonderful candidate for hot summer evenings.