TODAY TOMORROW TO KEEP
LIA LEENDERTZ ENJOYS A SEASONAL CROP WITH A TRIO OF RECIPES FOR NOW AND LATER. THIS MONTH: ONIONS
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. »
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.