Tag Archives: scallions

Green Bean & Spinach Vegetable Side-Dish (serves 4-6)

 Sometimes making sure we eat something green with every meal, can be a hassle or very hum-drum (like a salad!). Here is a great green side-dish to add to your repertoire.

Green Bean & Spinach Vegetable Side-Dish

It is green, healthy and delicious!


You will need: 3 cups green beans, 8 scallions, sliced, 4 sage leaves, finely chopped, 10 oz spinach leaves, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup chicken or veggie broth, sea-salt and black pepper to taste.

1 – Put pot of water on to boil. When it boils, add the green beans and blanch for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut the beans into 1 inch pieces (or a little smaller).

2 – Put large saute pan on medium/low heat and add oil. When it has warmed up, add the scallions and cook for about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the green beans and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chopped sage and stir.

saute scallions,, then blanched green beans

3 – Turn the heat up and add the broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, turn off head and add the spinach. Stir until it wilts (about 1 or so minutes). Do not add the spinach until right before serving.

* You can cook this ahead up to adding the broth, and turn of pan until ready to add the spinach. Then simply turn heat on again, bring to a boil and add the spinach*

add spinach

Dead Easy Tofu with Scallions & Bok Choy (serves 2)

This tofu dish has minimum ingredients, but is not short on flavor. Nothing could be simpler to put together.

Dead Easy (& scrumptious)

If you marinate the tofu the night before (or in the morning before you get on with your day), this meal will come together in 15 minutes or less.

It may even turn you into a tofu-lover!


You will need : 1 container extra-firm tofu (usually 10 oz packs), 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil,  4 scallions including green parts, sliced, 1 baby bok choy, sliced, 4 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sugar.

1 – Squeeze excess water out of tofu by placing the block of tofu on a plate and stacking about 4 dinner plates on top of it. Leave for about 20 to 30 minutes (in the meantime, prep the rest of the ingredients, and possibly do a load of laundry!). Pour off water and cut the tofu into very large cubes. Add the soy sauce and sugar to a plastic lidded container and toss in the tofu. Put lid on top and give everything a shake to coat the cubes all over. Leave for about 20 minutes (or can be done much earlier and left in the fridge) shaking every now and again.

2 – Put large saute pan on medium/high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Stir-fry the scallions and bok choy for about 5 minutes.

saute scallions & bok choy

3 – Move the veggies to one side of the pan and add the tofu (wicking off excess soy sauce) to pan and leave it to fry for about 3 minutes per side (do not touch when it is frying). Add more oil if necessary.

you don't have to be vegetarian to love this!

When the tofu is nicely browned, add the rest of the marinade. Serve as is, or with some toasted bread, rice or noodles (preferably soba).

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds (serves 6 as side-dish)

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds

I made a whole dinner around these onions last night, and, because they were so darn good, I thought they deserved their very own post.


Who doesn’t love slow-cooked, carmelized onions? I don’t know one person who would refuse such a delightful treat. I am a devotee of every variety in the onion family!

pearl onions.

Onions have been an important part of our lives since ancient times when bronzed Greek athletes would eat large quantities of them to enrich their blood and make them stronger, not to mention the fact that gladiators would rub their muscles down with raw onions to ensure a good performance!

cipollino Onions

I start almost every dinner with sautéing onions, and it makes the house smell sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious. Throw a couple of onions on the pan and it inevitably summons a crowd to the kitchen inquiring,  “when will dinner be ready!”

onions always part of my base flavors

In Ireland a favorite pub snack is a grilled cheese sandwich with a smattering of thinly sliced onions. If you have never tried it, now is the time. The crunch and tang of the onions in combination with the melting cheese and greasy bread is addictive.

Ramps (wild leeks)

Last night I bought two giant sweet onions just to have in the pantry, but, when I got them home, all I wanted to do was eat them both for dinner. if I were alone I would have cooked them up just how I did last night and simply piled them on a piece of toasted crusty bread, finishing it off with a shower of freshly cracked black pepper. Maybe next time…

big pan of sweet onions

If I remember in time, one of my favorite things to do with onions is to cook them in butter for a long time. It is nothing new and most people know how to do this. Sometimes sugar can be added to enhance the sweetness that comes from the slow-cooking. I was using sweet onions so didn’t bother.

Diced red onions

Darina Allen, Ireland’s foremost authority in the kitchen, makes a dish called melted leeks, which is basically the same thing, only using leeks. This is also nothing new, but I loved her description “melted” to describe what happened to them after a lengthy time on the stove top.

Grilled onions..

As I began to cook my big pan of  half-moon slices, I decided to add something new to the mix. I had bought a jar of cumin seeds to cook with some pork chops last week (see post “Crusty Pork Chops”) and still had the taste on my tongue. Why not flavor the onions with cumin seeds?

braising Vidalia onions.

What a great idea (of course, I’m sure it has been done before!). The onions and cumin were perfect partners, working off each other to bring out the most flavor possible.

shallots & peppercorns

I cooked some pork tenderloin and a side of braised collard green to go with them and it was delicious. Cumin can be an acquired taste so was hoping my kids would not balk. I am happy to report that I got rave reviews. With all the food piled on their plate they were unaware that the star of the dish was the melted onions laced with cumin.

onions and bacon

This side-dish would be great on so many things; pork chops, grilled chicken, steak, any fish, tossed in pasta with a little broth and cream, on a grilled cheese sandwich, on a cuban sandwich (on any sandwich), in an omelette, the list goes on.

Buy a couple of sweet onions this weekend and experiment.


You will need: 2 large sweet onions (or yellow onions and 1 tsp sugar), cut in half & sliced into medium-sized half-moons, 3 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp sea-salt (I used Maldon salt flakes).

1 – Put a big pan on medium heat (one that has a lid) and add the butter. When it has melted, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add cumin, salt and pepper

2 – Add the seasonings and give a stir. Continue to cook like this for about 15 more minutes, adjusting heat if necessary and stirring occasionally.

3 – Cover with lid and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, or, until the onions are meltingly soft.

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds

Serve with whatever you please (see above for suggestions)

I served the onions with pork tenderloin and braised collard greens (will post recipe in the future)

Asian-Style Pork Balls Wrapped in Lettuce (serves 4)

Something different for dinner..

This dinner was pulled together quickly. My daughter has to be elsewhere every Tuesday by 6.45pm so dinner has to be early! I defrosted pork in the morning and there it was waiting for me at 5 pm? I though of all sorts of things but was not in the mood for anything too laborious. I had two lovely heads of romaine and wanted to use them while they were very fresh and crispy. I love the leaves of romaine lettuce. They are sturdy, and, thinking about that attribute I thought about wrapping them in pork and eating our dinner with our hands!

This was easy and tasty. I gave the pork an Asian twist with soy sauce and ginger, and, along with a couple of good condiments we were all set. A big platter of these on your table would also make an impressive appetizer.


You will Need:

1 1/3 lbs ground pork,

2 tbs soy sauce,

2 tbs sesame oil,

2 tbs fresh ginger root, very finely grated,

1 tsp fine sugar,

3 scallions, thinly sliced including green parts,

1 or more heads Romaine leaves, 3/4 cup flour.

Condiments: Sriracha Sauce, sour cream mixed with Chile Garlic Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce ( 1 garnish is enough but add as many as you like for more choices).

If you want to know more about these sauces click in my pantry section where I have written about all three.

Mix everything together (I find my hands are the best tool for this job)

1 – In a little bowl, combine the soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and sugar. Put meat in big bowl and add the scallions and soy sauce mixture. Mix together thoroughly with hands and place in fridge for about a 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven 425*

Roll in flour and reserve on plate..

2 – Put the flour onto a plate or into a shallow bowl. Put a little oil on your hands (prevents the meat from getting tacky on your hands) and roll the pork balls (about 1/2 the size of a golf ball?). Roll each one in flour and put on plate.

My husband scrubbed a little too hard. I don’t see this as “dirt” but as a well-seasoned pan!

3 – Put 2 tbs of peanut oil on a baking tray or cookie sheet (big enough to hold all of the pork balls in a single layer) and place in oven to get it hot. Leave it in oven for about 4 minutes. It should be very hot when you remove it. (This process will prevent the meat from sticking to your pan)

Cooking these in the oven is so much easier than pan-frying (and less messy)

4 – Place pork balls in an even layer on pan and place in oven for 12 minutes. Take out and turn each one and place in oven for about 10 more minutes.

5 – While pork is cooking wash and dry romaine leaves and place 2 or 3 leaves on four plates. Set aside and get condiments ready. Mix 4 tbs sour cream with 1 tbs of Chili Garlic Sauce and put into little bowl. Get some more bowls and add Sweet Chilli Sauce to one and plain yogurt or sour cream in the other.

I like the kick the sour cream and chili garlic sauce add to the dish – hot and cooling at the same time..

To serve: Nestle about 3 pork balls in each leaf and add topping of choice. Roll up and eat with your hands!