TO­DAY TO­MOR­ROW TO KEEP

LIA LEENDERTZ EN­JOYS A SEA­SONAL CROP WITH A TRIO OF RECIPES FOR NOW AND LATER. THIS MONTH: ONIONS

The Simple Things - - LIVING -

Onions are a de­pend­able sta­ple that we take fully for granted, but they are also the start of so many de­li­cious things: many of us start an evening meal by chop­ping and slowly fry­ing an onion and then see­ing where the rest of the cup­board take us. The ba­sic white bulb onions store so well that they are avail­able all year round, as do red onions. Both are lifted in sum­mer and au­tumn, the skins dried off, and then eaten all through the year. Spring onions do have a sea­son: sown in au­tumn, they will have grown slowly over win­ter and put on growth over the last month or so; they are ready to pull now. They have an en­tirely dif­fer­ent set of uses in the kitchen – where the bulb onions ben­e­fit from long slow cook­ing, spring onions are of­ten used raw to pep up a dish (with­out leav­ing you with fierce onion breath for the rest of the day). Shal­lots fall some­where in be­tween the two, still usu­ally cooked but far milder and more com­plex than stan­dard onions, and so just about per­mis­si­ble raw, when chopped very finely into a vinai­grette, to soften them up a lit­tle. »

Pho­tog­ra­phy: KIRSTIE YOUNG

No mere side­kick for meat, onions star in a thyme pas­try tart (ready for fill­ing, right) and in bha­jis (be­low)

Even if you don’t grow your own, you’re likely to come across a glut of pro­duce from time to time – given to you from a friend’s al­lot­ment, per­haps, in your weekly veg box, or at a stall at the farm­ers’ mar­ket. Find­ing var­ied ways to eat and to store this sea­sonal bounty is sat­is­fy­ing to mind, ap­petite and pantry. Spend a few hours with your glut and make a dish to eat right away, an­other for the next day, and a lit­tle some­thing for the larder as a fu­ture treat.

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