Cultivated since prehistoric times, the versatile spring onion with its vivid green stem has long been a favourite to add a dash of colour to stir-fried dishes. The vegetable also gives a delicate onion flavour and crunch when eaten raw in salads, sandwiches and salsas. A sprinkling of crispy-fried spring onions adds another dimension to Asian dishes.
Spring onions (the bulb and the leaves) can be used raw in salads, as a garnish or cooked as part of Asian stir-fry dishes.
They add a depth of flavour when used in soup, noodle dishes and in salsa.
Chopped spring onions in soy sauce with some chopped chilli and rice vinegar makes a great dipping sauce.
For a Greek-inspired dish, mix finely sliced spring onions with herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place this mixture between sheets of oiled filo pastry and bake until golden and crisp.
The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese all planted and used this vegetable. The spring onion is believed to have originated in the Far East and has been a favourite in China and Japan for centuries. Chives and spring onion appear in Chinese history records from 2000 BC.
Storage: Spring onions can be stored in the vegetable compartment of your fridge. Cut some of the green section off, wrap them in a damp paper towel, place in a plastic bag and store. They last for up to five days when stored like this.