By MaryAnn Miano
An appealing late springtime vegetable such as the scallion is easy to grow, easy to dice, and easy to use in a variety of interesting recipes and salads. The scallion, also known as “green onion or spring onion,” is a tender immature common yellow, red, or white onion that is part of the allium, or lily, family. These onions are harvested before the plant’s bulb can grow too big. The scallion is planted very close together in the field for the sole purpose of stunting its bulb’s growth.
Be on the lookout in your grocer’s market for scallions with a dark green, straight stem hollowing through the top. Avoid purchasing any scallions with a yellowed top. Scallions should be pencil thin and straight. Also, the thinner the scallion, the milder the taste will be. Once the scallion appears curved, it has begun to dry out. Most recipes will call for using the whiter part of the scallion. If you cut off the root and leave some of the white bulb intact, you can replant the scallion for new growth.
Scallions are no slouch when it comes to nutrition. Low in calories, they contain plant fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoid anti-oxidants. They have more nutritious quality than their bulb onion cousins because they contain a leafy green-like stem. Along with a healthy dose of vitamin A, scallions also offer essential vitamins such as C and the B complex vitamins, and they contain a high dose of vitamin K. Add some minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese, toss in folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, and you have quite a nice health-promoting addition to any dish.
A mild and sweet way to make food tasty, scallions add subtle flavor to a dish while avoiding the strong pungency of onions. They add bright color to a recipe and can be eaten raw or cooked. These versatile beauties are great in stir-fry dishes, salads, stews, cooked with potatoes, or anywhere you would use an onion. You can steam them or grill them as a side or use them raw.
For the recipe of the month, try this quick and easy Asian stir-fry with chopped scallions to give it the great taste your family will love! Using strips of round steak, marinate the meat with soy sauce and garlic, then stir fry quickly with sesame seeds. Serve over a bed of rice.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
BEEF STIR FRY WITH SCALLIONS
1 lb. round steak
4 tbs. soy sauce
3 tbs. sesame or vegetable oil
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions (scallions), chopped
2 tbs. sesame seeds
2 tbs. cornstarch (optional)
1. Mix soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, and scallions in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Cut steak into strips and add to bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 30 minutes.
3. Cook beef with sauce in a wok or frying pan until brown, about 5 minutes. Add sesame seeds and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Add cornstarch to the sauce in the wok to thicken as desired.
5. Serve over a bed of rice.
If adding vegetables (asparagus cut into two-inch pieces and steamed broccoli is recommended) to this dish, consider doubling the sauce.