We’re putting aside the confusion about scallions vs. green onions for a second (they’re the same thing, for the record) to talk about how to store these alliums. When you pick up a bunch of scallions from the grocery store, you’ll find that they’re delicately packed into bundles and stacked into piles. But because of their thin skin, they don’t last long without proper care. Don’t just throw them in the back of your fridge and toss a package of deli meat, more produce, and a bottle of sparkling water on top. Treat them with some care, dang it!
Think of scallions like flowers. They need moisture to stay fresh and are best when they’re upright. So we’re going to make a bouquet of them: Grab a mason jar or tall glass and submerge the scallions’ roots in an inch or two of water. Leave the green tops out of the water while keeping the white parts generously damp. From here, you can store them on a windowsill (because who doesn’t need a little bit of sunshine), or in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf.
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If you’ve experienced one too many spills using this method with other types of produce (been there, done that) and want to forgo it altogether, there’s another trick that will keep scallions fresh for days. Wrap the scallions gently in a damp paper towel, tuck them into an airtight zip-top bag, and store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. And always, always, always label and date the bag or container that you’re storing scallions in so that you know exactly what they are and when to toss them out (if they start to wilt, that’s a good indication that they’ve seen better days).
To prepare scallions for stir-frys or sautés, cut off the root (compost it to avoid food waste!) before cooking. Or, keep the scallions raw and thinly slice them for a crunchy garnish. Not sure where to start? Here are five recipes that celebrate the scallion in all its forms.
Scallions take center stage in this spicy, creamy pasta dish. The sauce comes together in about the same amount of time it takes to boil rigatoni (or whatever your preferred short pasta shape is), meaning it’s an undeniably weeknight-friendly meal.
For the first installment of Food Editor Emily Ziemski’s column Plus One, she turned to the humble scallion for inspiration. “With a quick char, the scallions are tenderized and their sharp bite is rendered mellow,” she writes. A garlicky romesco sauce, enriched with brown butter, completes the dish.
This tabbouleh finds the ideal balance between satisfying bulgur, cooling vegetables like cucumber and tomato, and zingy herbs and aromatics. Scallions play a key role in creating the latter, alongside curly parsley, mint, and lemon juice.
A classic breakfast sandwich is made even better when, instead of two slices of bread, the bacon, egg, and cheese are wrapped in a flaky, crispy scallion pancake. The Taiwanese American dish, featured in the new cookbook from the founders of Win Son Bakery, is bound to become your new breakfast standard.
Scallions act as the garnish in this sweet-and-spicy chickpea dish from Eric Kim—but their role is an important one. His trick for soaking strands of scallions in icy water is brilliant for two reasons: The cold water softens the harsh bite of the alliums while also giving them an impressively curled appearance.