Farmer’s Market Finds Part I: Spring Onions
May 21, 2008
Really, I should just stick to the regularly-scheduled plan. The one where I daydream all week long about what I will make the following week. The one where I wake up hours before Kevin on Saturday morning to sketch out a final series of menus for the coming week and painstakingly compile grocery lists. The one where we traipse around town to various markets, me with a cup of coffee and Kevin at the wheel. But, alas, last week I couldn’t resist the allure of the Farmer’s Market.
And while meandering from stall to stall and selecting the most enticing produce was everything—everything—I hoped it would be, it had a serious drawback. It left me with ingredients I hadn’t planned on. No recipes. No menus. And perhaps most daunting of all: no lists. So I ended up nervously glancing at my Farmer’s Market bounty, paralyzed by fear. I had to select the best recipe, so as not to let my even one crimson stalk of rhubarb or one pungent shoot of green garlic go to waste.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
This completely neurotic condition is apparently particularly acute when I am in this gap between school and studying for the Bar Exam, because entire swaths of a day can be lost to a recipe search. Eventually I found a recipe I deemed suitable for my slim spring onions, with their vibrant green fronds that slide slowly into fat fushia bulbs. I decided to render them into a savory jam.
It turns out, all my worries were for naught. My onions were in the sure, safe hands of this recipe, which yielded a melty tangle of sweet onions, laced with a jolt of heat and a background hum of bright coriander. After tasting the creation, my head raced with all the potential vehicles for this jam: a juicy hamburger, fresh off the grill; the fold of a fluffy omelet, with a couple strands of gruyere; the corner of a cheese plate laid with a warm wheel of brie. In the interest of simplicity and highlighting the flavor of the onions, I opted for a simple crostini. I toasted thin baguette slices, slumped on a spoonful of the jam, nestled in a few crumbles of blue cheese and strewed a few slices of the spring onion greens on top.
Spicy Spring Onion Jam
Recipe Adapted from BBC Food’s Ready Steady Cook/James Martin
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
3 spring onions, finely sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Melt the sugar in a small pan with the water and chile flakes, over a medium heat and cook until golden (several minutes).
Add the sliced spring onions, vinegar and coriander and simmer for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Allow the mixture to cool and serve. The mixture can also be covered and refrigerated and served cold at a later time.