Harvested before their bulbs have fully developed, and sold with their greens still attached, green (or spring) onions have a sweet and mild—yet still pungent—flavor. The baby varieties you see at Greenmarket stands in June have given way to ones with bulbs about the size of golf balls. Consider them adolescent onions. They’re perfect for Empellón Cocina chef Alex Stupak’s take on the Mexican street-food snack cebollitas asadas.
Alex Stupak’s Green-Onion Salad
24 golf-ball-size spring onions
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 pasilla de Oaxaca or chipotle mora chiles (available at Mexican groceries), stemmed and deveined; or substitute 1 1/2 tsp. of pasilla-chile powder (available at Kalustyan’s)
Sea salt to taste
4 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
(1) Wash and peel the onions, and cut off the tops and bottoms. (2) Cut the trimmed onions in half across the equator. In a bowl, toss the onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. (3) Place the onions cut side down in the pan, and char 1 side only until blackened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove onions from the pan, and place them back in the bowl. Add the chiles to the pan, and cook over medium heat until you see the first wisps of smoke and the chiles begin to blister. Place the chiles in a spice grinder, and grind to a fine powder. Season the onions with salt, and toss them with the remaining olive oil, the lime juice, and the chile powder. Serve the onions charred side up and topped with Parmesan as an accompaniment to grilled steak or fish. Serves 6 to 8.
*This article originally appeared in the July 22, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.