Thursday, May 20, 2010

Allium Connection

I am totally guilty of proclaiming that spring is asparagus, ramp as well as the time for leafy greens. All very true but the real essence of this returning season is the dominance of one particular botanical family – alliums. These bulbous bottomed plants are found in our decorative vase Lily of the Valleys while they can be found, but most commonly they are go-to’s for starting most recipes.

Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks, scallions, and the fleeting ramps are all cousins and have the similarity of attaching multiple layers at its root base that is sprouted from a bulb. They all produce a flower stem that is referred as a “scape” that offers a tapering bud that subsequently opens into a round clustered flower heads in shapes of purple, pink and white. Eat it all for the entire plant is fragrant and useable.

Onions Braised in Balsamic Vinegar - yields 6 to 8 servings
1 pound small spring onions or Vidalia onions - peeled and root trimmed
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 pound unsalted Butter

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a 9x4 shallow Pyrex or ceramic baking pan lay the onion in a single layer. Pour over the vinegar, wine, thyme, salt and pepper. Dot the onions with the butter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 40 or until very tender. Serve hot or room temperature.

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