Over planting or crowding is a common issue among growers of all skill level. It's very tempting to squeeze in a lot of plants while they are small. Inevitably though, as they grow, the lack of space is stressful and the plants don't mature properly. Thinning crowded plants is key, and often, those thinnings can be turned into a scrumptious meal.
Here at the seed farm, we over-plant almost everything, to our benefit. Over-planting allows us to do the ever important selection and rogueing of our plants while still maintaining the proper population size to produce a good seed crop.
This is certainly the case with our crop of New York Early onions this year. We planted almost double what we need for our seed crop. Last week, the onions started to size up, and it was time to do the first round of thinning and selection so that the remaining plants can size up properly. (We give each onion about 4" of space on all size, or 12" per group of 3.)
After thinning, we were left with a whole lot of green onions. So what to do with all them? While green onions are often prized as a garnish and an addition to stir fries, this tasty vegetable deserves more than the side treatment.
In this simple preparation, green onions take center stage. The onions caramelize and become soft, buttery and sweet, while maintaining the ever-delicious onion flavor. Try these on their own, or on top of pesto slathered toasts for a delightful summer treat.
You can use any green onions, whether it be thinnings from your onion patch, Evergreen Scallions, or a tasty bunch from the farmers market.
Green Onions, Roasted or Grilled
Use this preparation for roasting or grilling.
1 big bunch green onions, cleaned with tops trimmed
Preheat oven to 400 or have a hot grill ready.
1. After trimming and cleaning the onions, spread them on a lined sheet pan if roasting or place them on a platter if grilling. Drizzle with olive oil and massage the oil onto each onion.
2. Toss with a bit of salt. (Don't over salt! the onions shrink and can become too salty easily.)
3. Arrange in a single layer on a lined sheet pan and roast in a oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until soft and golden.
4. If grilling, place on grill and turn once after 5 minute, and allow onions to char slightly.
5. Serve while hot or allow to cool to room temperature before serving.