Onions and I are tenuous friends, at best. For the most part, I do my best to avoid them, and rarely find them in my shopping cart, much less my skillet*. Frankly something about their sulfurous twang is a big turnoff, not to mention that they bring tears to my eyes every. single. time. I chop one.
*I do use them in homemade stock (more on this soon), and I’ll add them to the pan (but avoid them myself) when making fajitas and the like for the benefit of my dining companions (Andrew LOVES onions), but that’s about it.
Strangely enough I tolerate, and even enjoy the subtlety of a good scallion, leek or ramp; my beef lies with their sharper cousins: Vidalia, red, white, cippolini, shallots, etc. Still, I was surprised to find that the first recipe I decided to try out of a recent and highly anticipated present to myself (All About Braising) was so unabashedly onion-y.
Luckily, my “investment” (maybe $3.50, scallions are CHEAP) paid off. These are unlike anything I’ve eaten before. Somehow, the scallions became creamy and mellow, with just a hint of perky tang (thanks to a crucial squeeze of lemon juice). If Molly Stevens can work this much magic on the humble scallion, I can’t wait to see what else she has in store.
These would make an excellent (and low-effort) side for most anything, though I think they’d be particularly exceptional with a fillet of salmon or a simple roast chicken. I also could imagine these as a crostini topping paired with creamy ricotta or burrata, or as a light lunch with a poached egg and toast. Frankly though, I’ve yet to try most of these ideas out, as this first batch was consumed by Andrew and I in its entirety, hot from the dish, swirled around a fork like spaghetti, so take the “serves 6″ with a grain of salt. They’re that good.
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1 pound scallions (about 5 bunches, or 3 dozen)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, or 1 ½ teaspoons coarsely chopped tarragon (fresh, not dried)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
the juice of ½ a lemon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Use about a ½ tablespoon of butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Trim the root ends and the top 1 ½ inches off the scallions. Arrange half of the scallions in a single layer in the baking dish with the root ends facing the edges of the dish, and the greens towards the middle. Repeat with the other half of the scallions on the opposite side of the dish, overlapping the greens in the middle.
Pour the water into the dish. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish tightly in tinfoil and braise for 35-40 minutes, or until fragrant.
Remove the foil and increase the heat in the oven to 450°F. Place the dish back in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes (checking at 10) or until the liquid has evaporated and the scallions have begun to brown. Squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the scallions and serve warm.