Skip to main content

Spring Onions at their Peak

Mar 11, 2015 06:42PM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: Food+Drink



By Lesley Stiles 

While waiting with positive thoughts for more rain, we enjoy the phenomenon that happens when force-fed an early spring. Flowers are everywhere. Daffodils, tulips, lilacs, roses, citrus blossoms and jasmine scent the atmosphere, entering every cell of our being and creating smiles, relaxation and momentary bliss. Spring produce is beginning to dominate gardens and farmers’ market tables. Onions, garlic, and leeks beckon with promises of savory delights in sizzling butter, caramelizing magic into dishes of all kinds.

Subtle differences divide the chicks from the hens in the alliums’ world. Green onions, available year-round, are not to be confused with spring onions, available only in spring. Nature’s sweet previews of summer bounty are simply immature onions. Farmers specifically plant fields of onions for pulling young alongside fields of old timers destined for the golden drying rays of summer sun. Along with bad behavior, immaturity also brings eggshell white bulbs shaded with purple stripes that reach for elongated sweet shafts of tender green tops. You are mandated to use them in their entirely. As soon as you slice into a spring onion picked fresh from the field, the drops of sugar start to appear, offering a unique caramelizing experience in hot, sweet butter. Marinate perfect cremini mushrooms in pureed spring onion sloshed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and chopped oregano. Spring onions create amazing music when tossed in olive oil and sea salt, grilled whole alongside an organic rosemary scented chicken blistering on a hot wood fire. Dice fine to mix with local white wine vinegar and coarse ground black pepper for a mignonette to pack up with a special bubbly, and trip up the coast in pursuit of briny local oysters. Definition: spring.

Royally statuesque and well known as a favorite of Nero’s, 4000 years of sweet-flavored leeks are ours to partake. Long cylinders of bundled leaf sheaths with blanched white innards and bright green tops, leeks are at their peak in late winter to early spring. You must cook the entire leek to understand the difference between the refined bottom-half and the subtle sweet top of this allium. Sautéed leeks and potatoes, classically combined with chicken stock and a touch of cream, then brought to a simmer for a bit and blended result in a velvety Vichyssoise. The end product of sautéing an entire leek in olive oil with shitake mushrooms, slices of chicken breast, and fresh tarragon illustrates the subtlety of the alliums and the need to habitually place them in our market basket. At the farmers’ market you may occasionally come upon a leek flower. This rare treat must be quickly and quietly swooped upon, taken home, chopped up, placed in a tart crust with whipped, salted eggs and chevre, and baked to golden, bubbling perfection. Chopped leek flowers lend mysterious flavor when sprinkled in green salads tossed with Roquefort dressing.

March is a great time to start thinking about your vegetable garden cooperatively with kids and family. My grandpa was a big organic gardener who lived in Oakland, so he was at our house in Pleasant Hill a lot in my mom’s big garden. He taught her, she taught us, and the chain continues. Get instant gratification from getting radishes and carrots into chilly soil now, along with late crop peas and lots of lettuce and kales. You may consider getting rid of your front lawn and planting fruits and vegetables with an efficient drip system for summer water conservation. Heavy mulch is a must, and if you know a tree guy, it is always free. Enjoy the trails and move it or lose it! Gratitude abounds on a daily basis when living in our valley.

Caramelized Onions

3 large red or white onions, sliced thinly

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Place butter in bottom of heavy saucepan and melt on medium high heat. Add onions and let sauté until they start to brown. Turn pan to low and let sauté for about an hour until brown and very soft. Add in balsamic and let simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Makes 1 ½ cups.

 

 

 

 



Spring Onions at their Peak Lesley Stiles


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • FPHE Green Team meeting - new members wanted!

    07/27/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    We encourage and support all things Green in Pleasant Hill schools, including school gardens, sal...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    07/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Modern speakeasy, saloon jazz, parlor pop describes their music. But their ability to charm audie...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • S'mores at Sundown

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Relish in the joys of a warm summer night with treats and outdoor activities for families in a be...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Muir Orthopaedic Specialists annual event provides pre-participation evaluation and optional base...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/29/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    07/29/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/29/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • You are invited to a Party with a Purpose benefiting Monument Crisis Center and Contra Costa Inte...


  • SHARK ALLEY HOBOS + JACKSON & THE IMMORTALS

    07/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    SHARK ALLEY HOBOS Che Prasad (guitar, banjo, uke, sitar, accordion, vocals) John Howard (guit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Ballfield #2, Heather Farm Park 301 N. San Carlos Drive Bring your family and enjoy this FREE...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/05/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Cute Critter Live Draw

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join the Bedford Gallery for their Cute Critters Live Draw and art auction from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • The Electric Band: David Laflamme - violin/ vocals Linda Laflamme - vocals Val Fuentes - dru...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/06/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Free First Tuesdays at Bedford Gallery

    08/08/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission first Tuesday of the month (when open) Sweet n Low features artwork from over 1...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/09/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • BANJOJAZZ featuring HOWARD ALDEN

    08/09/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Jack Convery - banjo Howard Alden - banjo/ guitar Dave Marty - banjo Gary Newman - piano Bob ...


  • The Danny Green Trio

    08/10/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguishe...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/11/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • DEREK IRVING & HIS COMBO

    08/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Retro Rock 'n Roll & Rockabilly” Derek Irving - guitar/ vocals Vance Ehlers - upright bass ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/12/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • THE LADY BIANCA SHOW

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Blues and Soul” Bianca's Annual Birthday Party at Armando's! 2015 International Blues Chal...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/13/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • SOULFUL SECURITY

    08/15/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Classic Rhythm & Blues and Soul" Glenn Walters - vocals/ drums Jeff Tamelier - guitar Tony ...


 

 

 

 

July 2017

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com