Oh, the possibilites

Spring has sprung, and so have the alliums. Whether you’re supporting your local CSA, or you’ve been picking up that new hobby of re-growing scallions on your windowsill, there’s a good chance you’re about to have a LOT of green onions on your hands.

Scallions are the perfect garnish— they’re crisp and verdant, with a slight garlicky tang. Unfortunately, they don’t last very long on their own. By cooking them and packing them with oil, you can extend their shelf life by a few weeks. 

This recipe is a riff on ginger-scallion sauce, a favorite condiment of Cantonese cuisine. By cooking down the scallions, the sharp hallmark tang of allium decreases and is replaced by a mellow caramelized flavor profile. Its aromatic, barely sweet garlicky flavor is the perfect topping for noodles, roasted poultry, or maybe just eating straight out of the jar.

scallion jam on noodles
Perfect for a bowl of noodles

Recipe: Scallion Jam

  • 2-3 bunches scallions, green onions, or leeks
  • 1-2 cups oil with a high smoke point (see note)

1. Thinly slice or quickly food process your greens until everything is either finely chopped or in less than 1/4 inch pieces. 

2. Add half the chopped greens and half of the oil to a medium pan. Choose a neutral oil like canola, sunflower, or peanut oil. Olive oil isn’t good for this recipe, unless you dilute it to a 50/50 ratio to mellow out the flavor and increase the heat tolerance.

3. Heat on medium until the oil starts to bubble. Carefully stir, making sure no greens are sticking to the bottom, then add the remaining greens. Reduce the heat to low (so they’re just barely sizzling), and cook about 10 minutes.

4. Stir to combine, then gradually add the remaining oil to coat and cover the greens. Reheat on high until bubbling and cook for 15 minutes, or until the greens have broken down and are an “army green” color. 

5. Let the mixture cool, then transfer to heat-safe jars.