Growing onions is a bit of a commitment, I am realizing. At least when it comes to garden space. Last October is when I believe we planted these guys and now, nine months later, we are finishing the harvest. They are super low-maintenance and have been coming into our kitchen to feed us in various stages since around December. But in planning the fall/winter/spring gardens, I am trying to remember that these guys take up space for some time.
We harvested green onions throughout the winter and have been eating the bulb onions for a few months now, nearly daily making the base of a stir-fry with whatever greens, beans, or squash we’re harvesting. I don’t know for sure but I suspect it is because of the cutting of the green onions that many of them went to seed. That combined with the hot weather gave us the push to go ahead and harvest the remaining onions in the next two weeks.
The seed flowers are lovely. They smell of chives and those that we brought in had these buds at all different stages. Annabelle asked to help harvest the seed so she patiently sat on the steps sorting tiny black seeds from the buds and the still gentle flowers. We saved the little black onion seeds and then she ended up with a scant cup of the buds.
They reminded me of capers and, inspired by Shaye’s Dandelion Capers, I set out to ferment them in a simple brine.
After a few days they were bubbling and the brine was cloudy. They are a little difficult to keep below the level of the brine, even with my heavy duty fermentation weight, but I suspect fermenting a larger quantity would solve that problem.
Lacto-Fermented Onion Bud Capers
- 1 cup onion buds
- enough water to substantially cover buds (~1 cup)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
Remove buds from onion flowers and place in a pint jar. Add salt and cover buds with water by at least 1/2″. Add a fermentation weight to submerge the onion buds below the level of the brine.
Seal the jar and allow to ferment at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or until they are tangy enough for your liking. Be sure to “burp” your jar daily during the first week to release the carbon dioxide produced as a by-product of fermentation.