Egyptian walking onion has many virtues:
- It thrives on a steady diet of neglect. I do absolutely nothing to encourage mine to grow save pulling the occasional weed. I don't think it is possible to accidentally kill it.
- It is the very first edible green I see in the garden each year. I've harvested greens while there was still snow on the ground.
- It is prolific. My handful of bulbs has yielded more than we are able to replant and use.
- All parts of the plant are edible -- the underground onion bulb, the greens, and the topsets (bulbils).
- It produces food in several seasons. There are green onions in the spring. In the summer the plants get too big and woody to use green, but you can harvest the bulbils or dig the bulbs. Mine usually die back when summer's heat gets intense, and then give another crop of green onions in the fall. You can also dig the underground bulb whenever you need or want it.
- It is easy to manage. If you are ambitious, you can dig it up each year, eat the underground onion bulbs and replant the bulbils. If you're less ambitious, you can just cut it back and use the greens and harvest the bulbils for eating or seed swapping. If you're like me, you can just ignore it except when you feel like harvesting some for dinner.
Here is a picture of the bulbs after being cleaned and peeled.
Because I did not cure the onion bulbs, I wanted to process them right away. I found a recipe for pickled onions on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. I'd never eaten pickled onions before. But, several online sources mentioned that they were good in salads, on cheese sandwiches, and were served as a part of a traditional English ploughman's lunch. Sounded good to me!
Here is the finished pickle. This is not the greatest picture -- they look very pretty in the jar. The leftover bits I sampled tasted *very* good, too. I am looking forward to trying them with a cheese sandwich soon!
My messy kitchen, where all this canning goes on....