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Whole Spring Onions

Debra Redalia


I just wanted to share a post with you that I wrote on 1 March, when I was hoping I could start this blog. It’s about shopping at the farmers market, seasonal food, and another definition of wholefood.

Though it is already the first day of March, at the farmer’s market it is still winter. We have a year-round market but today there were only half the number of farmers as there are in the summer, and even they had only a few vegetables to offer.

But it is worth coming to the market because it is on days like today that you will find the first flowering spring onions.

That’s actually all I bought today, but it will enliven my salads this week with the newness of spring.

I love these flowering spring onions because they allow me to observe and eat the WHOLE onion—from root to flower. In the supermarkets and even in natural food stores, the flowering tops are cut off for uniformity and size to fit in shipping boxes. But here in the farmer’s market, I get to experience the onion from root to flower and in all different stages of growth—all in one $2 bunch!

The white part is the root. The flesh turns increasingly green as it grows until the dark green stem bears a white flower. As I was cleaning and chopping, I made sure that my yield contained all the colors, including bits of flowers.

And the flowers that have not yet opened are in a little glass of water on my desktop so I can watch them open.

We’ll be having more flowering alliums now as they come into season. I can’t wait.

I’m going to sprinkle these on my daily salad and on my potatoes tonight and any other foods that seem right this week. They are all prepped and ready to eat.

I’ve been buying and eating a bunch of these spring onions every week since, until last week, when they were no longer available.

But! Last week the chives in my garden started blooming! So I’m now eating chives and chive blossoms on everything.

And they are even more prolific this week. Every day more and more blossoms pop up!

I realized that as the year progresses there will be alliums of many different varieties coming into season, each with their own flavors and duration. I’m starting to keep track so I will have a chart of seasonal alliums by the end of the year.