Almost everyone loves onions. And when you grow them yourself, you get the most tender, sweet ones possible. Storage onions are more pungent but develop a sweeter flavor when cooked. Green onions, also called scallions or spring onions, are just immature bulbing onions that are harvested early. Leave them in the ground and they’ll develop into regular onions. Shallots are an onion relative with mild flavor and smaller bulbs. To ensure formation of large bulbs, plant shallots early in the season and grow the correct type for your area.
Pick scallions or green onions when they are 6-8 inches tall and a bulb has begun to form. When the foliage of bulbing onions begins to die down naturally, withhold water. A week later, pull the bulbs and place them in a warm, dry location. When the skin is papery, cut off the foliage, leaving a 1-inch stub above the bulb. Store dried bulbs in a cool, dark location. Harvest shallots after side bulbs have formed and the tops have begun to dry. Separate the side bulbs, dry them, and store as you would onions.
Onions are often chopped and used as an ingredient in various hearty warm dishes, and may also be used as a main ingredient in their own right, for example in French onion soup or onion chutney. They are very versatile and can be baked, boiled, braised, grilled, fried, roasted, sautéed or eaten raw in salads. Their layered nature makes them easy to hollow out once cooked, facilitating stuffing them. Onions are a staple in Indian cuisine, often used as a thickening agent for curries and gravies. Onions pickled in vinegar are eaten as a snack. These are often served as a side serving in pubs and fish and chip shops throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, often served with cheese and/or ale in the United Kingdom. In North America, sliced onions are battered and deep fried and served as onion rings.