Three way | Spring onions
What chefs are doing with spring onions.
“I’m sort of obsessed with onions in all their forms,” says Guy Meikle. Dude must be feeling like a coke fiend in a crack den right now, because spring onions, in all their manifestations, are taking over markets and menus. At Nana, where Meikle recently started cooking dinner, spring onions are confitted slowly with duck fat, bay leaf and thyme, then paired with a skirt steak and chimichurri. Can’t make it to dinner? No problem. Meikle’s obsession extends to the breakfast menu, where the onion confit show s up in his duck confit biscuits and gravy. 3267 S Halsted St, 312-929-2486.
The best thing about spring onions (besides their flavor) may be their diversity. As Jason Hammel, the chef-owner of Lula, points out, spring onions are particularly handy to have around when you “get sick of ramps” (which are onions in their own right). Right now, Hammel’s into Tropea onions, which he uses three times in a dish of lamb loin: once in a rich puree of smoked buttermilk and spring-onion confit; again tossed with English peas and morels; and, finally, halved, roasted and served straight-up. 2537 N Kedzie Blvd, 773-489-9554.
A dish isn’t Southern unless it’s got green onion sprinkled on it—that’s the joke at Big Jones, anyway. But while chopped scallions are a year-round garnish staple in this kitchen, when spring rolls around, onions take on a bigger role. As an accompaniment to sweetbreads, chef-owner Paul Fehribach finishes grilled spring onion bulbs with a chipotle-barbecue sauce. That extra bite of chipotle enables the onion to cut through the rich sweetbreads. And the green onion tops? Fehribach can’t help himself—they get layered on top. 5347 N Clark St, 773-275-5725.