What Are Scallions?
First thing we have to understand is what scallions are. There is a good chance you have had them as scallions are called by various names depending on the country. From a scientific stand point scallions are an edible plant from the Allium species which have straight green leaves emerging from a white underdeveloped onion bulb. Aside from being called scallions they can also be called green onions, spring onions, bunching onions and green shallots. In respects to flavor, scallions are similar to chives but a bit stronger. Although the bulb is edible scallions are typically grown for the green tops.
The whole scallion plant, aside from the roots, is edible. The green tops have the most desirable flavor being a bright crisp onion flavor typically used as a fresh garnish. The tops can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. They can withstand a short amount of heat when cooking, similar to basil, but extended cooking should be avoided. Add them right at the end to retain their fresh and bright flavors.
The most predominant use of scallions is chopped as a garnish for soup, salads and vegetable dishes or long strips in asian stir fry. Scallions can also be ground up or pureed for creative additions to sauces. Try tossing very finely chopped scallions with grated parmesan cheese
Keeping Scallions Fresh
Fresh and crisp scallions are a must,they should have bright green tops that can hold themselves up. Refrigerators due to the defrosting mechanism, which continual removes moisture from the refrigerator, can damage the cellular structure of the tops of scallions causing them to go limp if left open to the air. Although storing scallions in the refrigerator isn’t the best place to store them, if you must, then keep them in a sealed bag with a half a teaspoon of water and in the crisper drawer.
A better way to keep scallions is in a glass with enough water to come to the top of the roots. Rinse and change water ever 24-48 hours. This allows the plant to continue to grow keeping fresh crips tops. You can even regrow the scallions tops.
Regrowing the Green Tops
Use only the green section of the scallion cutting the bulb just above where the transistion of white to green. Then place the root and blub back in the water and use the green tops for cooking. Once the roots are in water they will start growing again, continue to change the water out every 24-48 hours. The scallion tops will grow back slightly quicker with sunlight but is not needed. Expect a full grown top in approximatly 7 days but you can use them at anytime. Scallion will stay fresh for approximatly 14 days. After the bulb starts to get soft, discard and replace.