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Market Watch: Gitane Chef Bridget Batson's Love Affair with Spring Onions

A recent sunny, brisk day at the market found Gitane’s Executive Chef, Bridget Batson, shopping and tasting her way through the crowd. What caught her eye first was the beautiful bunches of spring onions nestled among the carrots and beets at Star Route Farms. One of her favorite spring vegetables, these young tender onions are sweeter and milder than their late season relatives.

Many farmers at the Ferry Plaza originally pulled these young alliums out in early spring to help thin the rows in their fields. But they soon found that chefs and market customers  were eagerly snapping them up, as their fresh and delicate flavor lends itself well to many preparations.

What was Bridget planning to do with her spring onions?

“In Spain there is a festival for Calçots, which are similar to our spring onions,” she says. During the festivities the onions are charred over open fire and served with a romesco sauce and grilled meats. “This was my inspiration for creating a version for Gitane’s menu that substitutes the Spanish Calçots for the sweet spring onions from County Line Harvest and Star Route Farms.”

Spring brings many young varieties of these onions to market including Torpedo, Rossa di Milano, and Walla Walla. Look for them at Star Route Farm, County Line Harvest, Eatwell Farm and Everything Under the Sun Farm.