Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with spring onions.
Spring onions are only supposed to be a by-product of thinning the beds to ensure the full bulbous white onions have space to grow, but I like a constant supply, so I plant seeds every week. I love the fact that, when cut into traditional rounds, they look great in—or on—almost any European dish, but, when they’re cut on a slant, they instantly feel Asian.
Brioche buns with Coca-Cola pulled beef brisket and spring-onion relish (serves 4)
600g beef brisket
3tbspn olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
4 spring onions
250ml crème fraîche
1tbspn wholegrain Dijon mustard
3 gherkins, diced
25ml truffle oil
4 brioche buns
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Drizzle the olive oil all over the beef brisket, ensuring that the entire joint is covered in a coating of oil, then season generously. Take a large, lidded casserole dish, place it over a high heat and add another splash of olive oil followed by the herbs and the beef. Sear the meat on all sides. Remove from the heat and pour in the Coca-Cola, then place the joint in the oven for 2½ hours.
Once it’s cooked, remove the herbs and, on an ovenproof plate, pull the joint apart using two forks the meat should melt away. Cover the pulled beef with foil and return it to the oven (at a much lower temperature of 150˚C/300˚F/gas mark 2) to keep warm.
Reheat the casserole dish used to sear the beef and reduce the pan juices to just a few teaspoons, then add the chopped spring onions and cook them until they’re gently softened, but not browned. Remove the dish from the heat and stir the crème fraîche, grainy mustard and diced gherkins through the juices, then season and mix well before placing the mixture in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To serve, halve the brioche buns and warm them in the oven, then brush their insides with truffle oil and sandwich a few tablespoons of the delicious, sticky pulled beef in each bun half, spoon the sauce over the meat and add a few lightly dressed salad leaves I used baby spinach as that’s what we had in the kitchen garden. Pop the other half of the brioche bun on top so they look like burgers and enjoy!
More ways with spring onions
Vietnamese spring rolls
Cut a carrot, two spring onions, a quarter of a cucumber and a few leaves of iceberg lettuce into thin batons. Place rice-paper wrappers, one at a time, into a bowl of boiling water for about 15 seconds, before removing to a clean tea towel. Lay the damp paper out on a board, then fill with 1tbspn rice noodles, 1tbspn bean sprouts, a few prawns and then the batons. Roll up the rice paper and fold in the ends, then cut on the diagonal before serving with a chilli dipping sauce.
Spring onions and peas
Add a knob of butter to a saucepan and cook 4 chopped spring onions until soft, then add 1tspn plain flour and mix well before adding 100ml white wine and 2 cups garden peas. Simmer until the peas are cooked, but still have a slight bite delicious served with grilled fish and buttery new potatoes.
Simon Hopkinson urges us to flex our mussels on two quick alternatives to moules marinière.
Stirred into lemon and Parmesan pearl-barley risotto or baked into frittata: just two of our favourite spinach recipes for spring.