Category Archives: scallions

Puree of Green Cauliflower with Frizzled Scallions

This may be the best thing I have eaten in a week of good food. I want to call it Yowza Baby, but surely there’s a better name. This is based on a new-to-me technique for making purees. The instinct to make the frizzled scallions was my moment of genius for the month or maybe the year. I know it shows some steamed whole florets, but don’t bother. They are merely a distraction.

Green Cauliflower puree with Frizzled Scallions

Clean and chop up finely one head of cauliflower

In a pan, melt 2 or more tablespoons of butter in about 1 cm/1/4″ of water. The quantity should depend on the size of your cauliflower. Mine was small.

Put the chopped cauliflower into the pan, add salt amounting to a ratio of 1 teaspoon per pound. I used about 1/2 teaspoon.

Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until it is quite soft, but not mushy. Check and add hot water if needed to keep the water at the original level.

While it is cooking, slice a scallion very finely, then heat good oil in a small frying pan and toss the scallion into the oil, and then salt generously. Cook, tasting and correcting for salt, until just well caramelized and remove from the heat instantly. This is a condiment, so it must be well seasoned, remembering that butter here is salt free. If yours is not, then you should keep that in mind.

When the cauliflower is well-cooked, put it and the cooking liquid into a blender.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Whiz it up, stopping and scraping occasionally, until it is a silky puree, light and smooth.

Spread the puree on a serving dish, then scatter the fried scallions over it, including the oil in which they cooked. Serve hot.

For the contest, because it may be the best thing I have eaten in a week of good food.  I want to call it Yowza Baby, but surely there's a better name.  This is based on a new-to-me technique for making purees.  The instinct to make the frizzled scallions was my moment of genius for the month or maybe the year.  I know it shows some steamed whole florets, but don't bother.  They are merely a distraction.</p>
<p>Green Cauliflower puree with Frizzled Scallions</p>
<p>Clean and chop up finely one head of cauliflower</p>
<p>In a pan, melt 2 or more tablespoons of butter in about 1 cm/1/4" of water.  The quantity should depend on the size of your cauliflower.  Mine was small.</p>
<p>Put the chopped cauliflower into the pan, add salt amounting to a ratio of 1 teaspoon per pound.  I used about 1/2 teaspoon.</p>
<p>Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until it is quite soft, but not mushy.  Check and add hot water if needed to keep the water at the original level.</p>
<p>While it is cooking, slice a scallion very finely, then heat good oil in a small frying pan and toss the scallion into the oil, and then salt generously.  Cook, tasting and correcting for salt, until just well caramelized and remove from the heat instantly.  This is a condiment, so it must be well seasoned, remembering that butter here is salt free.  If yours is not, then you should keep that in mind.</p>
<p>When the cauliflower is well-cooked, put it and the cooking liquid into a blender.</p>
<p>Add 2 tablespoons of butter.  Whiz it up, stopping and scraping occasionally, until it is a silky puree, light and smooth.</p>
<p>Spread the puree on a serving dish, then scatter the fried scallions over it, including the oil in which they cooked.  Serve hot.This is very, very good vegetables!  Eat it.

An Asian-style chicken dish for tonight

I have made this three times in two days to make sure I’ve written it right, and for a change I am happy to eat the same thing over and over.  It’s delicious and fits right into my reduced carbohydrate regime, but I would eat it anyway.  If I could get it, I’d have braised baby bok choy with it, but in real life what I had was spinach.  So I ate spinach.  Spinach happens.

You should try this, because it is easy, good and made of things almost everyone can find where they live.  I’m not sure I would want to make thirty of them at a time, but the recipe for two can be expanded to as many as you feel like.  Buon appettito.

the first cut
1-IMG_0430 Find the bone and make a cut along it end to end. Using a sharp knife cut the bone away from the flesh, starting at the joint you can see easily. Scrape all the meat away from the bone, leaving the more hidden joint attached.

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:2]

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Cut the spring onions or scallions as finely as you can.
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Sprinkle the inside with just a small amount of Chinese 5 Spice powder, remembering it can be powerful stuff. Salt lightly. Put half the onion and half the ginger on the open thigh.
1-IMG_0442
Fold the sides over the stuffing and pin the skin closed with a toothpick.
1-IMG_0443
And they look like this on the skin side. Lightly salt the outside.
1-IMG_0455
Fry them in the vegetable oil in a frying pan that can go in the oven. Cook until golden, then slide them into the preheated oven.
1-IMG_0459
Make the sauce as it says in the recipe, put a little in a shallow soup plate, then add the chicken.

Asparagus and Scallion Packet (Borsa degli asparagi e cipollotti)

This is the last one, folks. If you can’t make picnics with at least two of these tarts, you are doomed to eat inside all summer.

: Asparagus and Scallion Packets

: Life should always taste this good.

  1. 4 sheets of filo dough
  2. extra virgin olive oil
  3. 8-10 stalks of asparagus blanched in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes
  4. 3-4 scallions (green or spring onions) cleaned and split lengthwise
  5. 2 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  6. 2-3 tablespoons pesto Genovese
  7. 2 slices American cheese (sotillette)
  8. Scarce sprinkling of crushed chili pepper

  1. You can prepare the vegetables as far in advance as suits you, but they should be at room temperature when you assemble and bake the tart.
  2. Lay out 2 sheets of filo and drizzle some of the oil on them. Spread it around with a pastry brush or your hands. Add two more sheets and do the same thing with the oil again.
  3. Lay the asparagus on the filo about 6″ (15cm) from one end and leaving about 2″ (5 cm) clear on each side. Alternate the stalks so that all the tips aren’t at one end. Add the scallions.
  4. Scatter the grated cheese evenly, then dot with pesto, then add torn strips of the cheese slices and last sprinkle sparingly with the bits of chili pepper. (Italian ones are very hot, hotter than most, so adjust to suit what you have and what you like.)
  5. Fold the 6″ piece over the vegetable mixture, then fold up and in the sides you left free. Proceed to fold over and over the resulting packet until completely closed.
  6. Slide into a 400°F (200°C) oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F (165°C) for another 10 minutes or until it is golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Use other vegetables when asparagus isn’t in season, just be sure to precook them enough so that they will be done when the tart is cooked.

Diet type: Vegetarian

Meal type: supper

Culinary tradition: Italian

I have filed these as supper recipes because they were invented for such an occasion, but I would serve these as an elaborate antipasto, as lunch or dinner and certainly for brunch.

Asparagus and scallion open tart (Torta salata degli asparagi e cipollotti)

Here is another of the tarts from Friday night’s supper. It seemed almost too pretty to cut, but we did. I ate the leftover bits cold the next day and they were still good.

: Asparagus and scallion tart

: Elegant and easy, a great way to get your vegetables

  1. 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed, fresh or homemade
  2. 3-4 scallions (green or spring onions) cleaned and halved lengthwise
  3. 6-8 pieces of asparagus, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling salted water
  4. 1 cup (250 ml) mascarpone
  5. 1/2 teaspoon or less salt
  6. 2 ounces (60 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  7. 1 egg
  8. 2 shakes of Tabasco
  9. paprika

  1. If your pastry is round, you will need to also cut the vegetables in half crosswise as well. It probably looks more elegant made in a long rectangle and with them all left whole.
  2. Line a shallow tart pan with the puff pastry (pasta sfoglia) and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Arrange the asparagus and the scallions on the pastry.
  3. In a bowl mix the mascarpone, the Parmigiano, the egg, Tabasco and salt together quite thoroughly with a fork or a whisk.
  4. Place dollops of that mixture all over the tart and then spread them with a spatula until it looks even. Sprinkle all over with paprika.
  5. Place in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes or until a table knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Lots of other vegetable combinations will work as long as they are thin enough to cook in the time the tart cooks. Even greens and blanched green beans would work.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: supper

Culinary tradition: Italian

4 :  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

CRUNCH! make them beg for vegetables

Bite this
Vegetable Strudel

You know how when you open a package of filo pastry sheets, you never can use them all up? Well, now I can.

I’ve been experimenting with peach recipes, some of which use filo sheets. There are a lot of sheets in package, so I determined to find a clever way to use them up. Stop right now if you are a food snob and proud of it, because it’s going to get ugly in here. On the other hand, if you can trust me not to guide you wrong, hang on just a minute because this easy little thing is delicious! It looks pretty fancy, too.

vegetable strudel
This is the finished dish sittng on Marcello’s woodpile in the blazing white sun.

Have a bite. You know you want to.

Vegetable strudels

for each strudel big enough for 2
preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F

2 sheets of filo pastry
1 ounce/30g or more of melted butter
2 scallions or cipollotti cleaned and cut in two lengthwise
1 small zucchine, cut into long strips not more than 3/8″ or 1 cm wide
1 slice Kraft Singles (Sotilette)
1 ounce/30g grated fresh Pecorino cheese
a pinch of salt
a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or paprika

Lay 1 sheet of filo on the counter and splodge it about with melted butter. It does not have to cover it nor be even. Put the second one on top and splodge that one, too. If you prefer, you can use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, then it doesn’t need to be hot.

Lay the vegetables across the filo sheet near the edge near you leaving a space of 1.5″/3.75 cm at the sides. Tear the Kraft Single into 4 strips and add them. Grate the Pecorino over it all. Sprinkle the smallest pinch of salt over all that.

Start rolling this into a flattish packet moving away from you. It will be a generous 3″ /7.5 cm wide. When there is only enough filo to roll two more times, fold the edges in to seal the packet then continue to roll it closed. Brush the top with more oil or butter. Sprinkle sparingly with Cayenne pepper/ peperoncino in polvere or use paprika if you don’t dare the spicy.

Put the finished rolls into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. It should be very golden brown and everything inside should be cooked and gooey with melted cheese. Cut in two and serve hot and crunchy.

My friend Patrizia tells me it is food snobbism to reject a product like Kraft Singles if it will do the job better than anything else. In this case, it does. It provides the creamy moisture that steams the vegetables and carries the Pecorino flavor throughout the strudel. I can think of many other vegetables that would be nice in there, and a change of cheese is very possible, too. I almost added blanched Swiss Chard or bietola, but I was happy I stuck with two vegetables instead. Anything cut so that it will cook through in 25 minutes is a possibility.

I can only tell you that this was so good I ate it instead of Sunday lunch, and Sunday lunch is a pretty important meal here in Umbria. It would be so easy to make these in large numbers as an antipasto for a dinner party or a really great side dish vegetable. Once they go together they are seamlessly easy to cook and serve and what, I ask you, is prettier than golden crunchy pastry?

Here’s one for you.

One for you

Scallion tart: the everything dish

It’s everything because it can be antipasto or cocktail nibbles and stands up firmly to alcoholic drinks in flavor. It’s everything because it can be served as a really pretty first course in place of the more usual pasta or soup or risotto. It’s also everything because it is simply a stupendous eleborate vegetable to serve when the rest of the meal looks a bit skimpy. Last but not least it’s a vegetarian main dish that will disappoint no one.

Scallion tart whole

Dessert? Not that, so it’s just almost everything after all. But I forgot a really important thing! It’s easy, easy like making Playdoh cups. All you have to do is have the ingredients in the house and 35 or so minutes to cook in.

Scallion Tart

preheat oven to 200°C or 400°F

serves a lot as appetiser, 4-6 as a sidedish and 3 as a main dish

1 piece of frozen puff pastry/pasta sfoglia, thawed as directed
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
3 ounces heavy cream
2 eggs
dash of Tabasco
about 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces cheese, grated (Pecorino, cheddar, Parmigiano, others)
about 1 ounce more Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Lay the pastry on baking paper on a baking sheet and with a sharp knife, DO NOT SAW, cut three 3/4″/2 cm wide strips off the longer side. Cut one of them in two shorter halves. Lay the strips along the edge of the pastry to form a small brim or wall. Use a fork to prick the pastry all over, including the edges. You may need to hold the edge down with a gentle finger while doing this. If you saw when you cut, the pastry will not puff correctly, do don’t do it. Put the pastry in the hot oven for a few minutes, 5 or so, and then remove it and prick any bubbles with your fork so they will collapse.

Lay the scallion on the pastry lengthwise, alternating directions as you go.

In a smallish bowl, mix the cream, the eggs, the Tabasco, the salt and the first of the cheeses with a fork or whisk. Pour this all over the scallions, distributing it well so no part is overflowing or naked.

Grate the Parmigiano all over the tart, including the edges. It will brown nicely where there’s a little cheese and not at all where there isn’t, as you can see in that photo.

Put the tart into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 175°C or 350°F. Cook for about 30 minutes or until golden. Remove to a rack and cool a few minutes before cutting with a sharp knife into the size pieces you want.

As usual, I’ve saved this piece for you.

Your piece of tart

CSA: Steak with Scallions

EG came up with this recipe, which is as simple as most good things are, and shared it with us. She thinks that if she’d had a grill pan and grilled the scallions first it would have been even better. Probably the final cooking could be done that way, too.

Lunch is ready!
Lunch is ready!

It seems the most important thing is not overcooking these very thin, very lean steaks. That means pre-cooking the scallions a bit, then cooking the rolled up steaks very quickly on high heat.

Steak and Scallion Rollups

Per person:
2 pieces of thin but tender steak
2 whole scallions, cleaned and trimmed
salt and pepper
olive oil

Oil and salt the scallions and cook them briefly over moderate heat to soften them. Roll them in the steaks and cook over high heat just to brown. Salt and pepper to taste. If you feel Italian, drizzle them with a tiny thread of olive oil and serve them with a wedge of lemon.

Eg’s photos are always affected by the light bouncing off her chartreuse kitchen walls, and I have not yet convinced her that she should take her food onto the balcony for photography.