It's an all too common tragedy. You go out and buy a perfectly fresh, plump batch of green onions. After a long grocery haul, without any thought, you throw the scallions into the crisper drawer — bare naked. No protection, no water, and no hope. A few days later, the green onions lay in mourning — wilted, unappetizing, useless. Alas, there is a better way. No longer must you or your green onions endure this horrific nightmare. Instead here's a quick guide on how to store green onions, and why they'll soon become your favorite ingredient in the kitchen.

Keeping It Fresh

Noah Hutchinson

There are a lot of opinions out there on how to keep green onions, aka scallions, the freshest. Wrapping the ends with a damp paper towel, regrowing them, or simply throwing them in the crisper drawer are just a few of the ideas from home cooks and foodies across the nation. However, after trial and error, my favorite technique comes from the culinary masterminds at Cooks Illustrated. To keep your scallions the freshest, the first step it to store them in the fridge. Unlike regular onions, which stay freshest at room temperature, green onions are more like leafy greens or herbs in the sense that they thrive in colder atmospheres. 

To begin, start by standing the scallions upright in a cup or other tall container. Then cover the roots of the vegetable with about one to two inches of water. It's important not to go crazy and flood the onions with too much water, just enough to cover the roots will do the trick. The last step is to loosely place a plastic bag over the contraption and store in the refrigerator. This technique provides the green onions with water to keep the cells hydrated and better regulates the moisture thanks to the plastic bag.

#SpoonTip: Before placing the scallions in the cup, remove the rubber band from the bunch and be sure not to wrap it around the plastic bag to allow air to circulate and the vegetables to breathe.

Now, if your green onions are already wilted or could used some rejuvenation, it's not too late! To shock the vegetable back to life, simply soak the root ends in ice water and within an hour, the cells will have absorbed the necessary water to reinflate to its original state. This technique can also work with most any other limp produce or herbs in need of some revitalization.  

Why Green Onions?

Noah Hutchinson

In the American culinary scene, the green onion is often used as a garnish or a finishing green touch to a rich, elegant dish. The mild, yet aromatic flavor allows the scallion to be very versatile in its uses. From a chipotle green onion aioli, to a sauteed onion and yogurt dip, it comes in many forms on many different plates.

In cultures across the globe, the green onion is used as much more than a garnish. In the Chinese cuisine, a 葱油饼 (Cōng yóubǐng), or in English known as a scallion pancake, is a savory flatbread-type side dish that is widely popular thanks to its cheap price and fantastic amplitude of flavor. A 22-hour flight and 5,000 miles away, the paradise-like island of Sicily is home to another green onion based dish: bacon-wrapped scallions, or known as cipollate con pancetta in Italian. This Italian comfort food is served up across butcher shops all around Sicily. Its simple, yet scrumptious taste, speaks wonders for the Mediterranean cuisine. 

From your kitchen table, to the plates of food lovers across the globe, green onions play a big part in the culinary world. So the next time someone asks you how to store green onions, there's no reason to panic. Keeping them fresh and at their best not only benefits your wallet and keeps your dishes tasting delicious, but it also helps join the fight towards reducing food waste. While one stalk of scallions won't change the world, maintaining your produce's freshness and quality makes way for a tastier dish today, and a brighter future for the world of food tomorrow.