“They’ll be like leeks,” my mom assured, handing me a handful of fist-sized onions. They dangled, like insignificant baubles, on the end of two-foot tapered lengths of green. “Just look at them…they look just like leeks.”Sawing off a piece of was, I imagined, only slightly easier than slicing a thin piece of plywood in half with a paring knife. (Okay, with a serrated paring knife.)
A cross-section of this onion green looked nothing like a leek. It was hollow, rigid and fibrous. But I thought that it might cook down and soften…like a leek.I tossed the slices generously with olive oil and gently roasted them for 20 minutes. They came out dried and even tougher than before.I then took these same half-roasted slices of onion green and started to pan fry them for a few minutes, and then simmered them for another half hour. It started to smell quite nice, of slowly cooked onions and oil and salt and pepper.
But it was still like eating a twig.“Well,” I told my younger cousin, who was watching the whole debacle with wide eyes and an air of well-justified skepticism, “maybe it will soften once I bake it again on the cheesecake.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Maybe.”
I think she was just being nice.I piled it on top of the cake (embedding it in the middle would make it impossible to remove were I to need to backtrack) and proceeded to bake the cake.
I let it cool, topped it with figs and dressing, and cut myself a slice. It went as you might expect.
goat cheese cake with inedible onion greens and figs
While I’m sure what I’ve written above is an effective disclaimer, to reiterate, apparently neither I nor my mom have too much experience with mature onion greens…
I would add some more oil to this crust. It was a bit dry and a bit too powdery. Edit Sept 27: Hilda suggested adding a bit of applesauce to the crust instead of more oil, which sounds marvellous.
35 g red fife flour
15 g all purpose flour
15 hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
15 g olive oil
10 g milk
Mix together all ingredients except for the milk and oil. Drizzle in the oil and toss to form a clumpy sort of dough, then add the milk and combine until just mixed.
15 cm length of onion green
80 g soft unripened goat cheese
2 spoonful yoghurt
1 egg yolk
few leaves sage and parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice the onion green into thin rounds (or really, please just substitute a green onion–there is quite a difference–or skip it all together). Put some olive oil in a pan and cook gently until you can begin to smell the onion. Add a whole generous cupful of water and gently simmer until the water is gone. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cream the goat cheese until smooth, add the yoghurt, then the egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the handful of herbs.
Press the crust into the bottom of a 12-cm springform pan; you will use only around 2/3 of it. Add the cheesecake filling.
Arrange (or do not) the onion greens overtop.
2 green figs
1 tbsp light-tasting oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
dash dijon, Worcestershire, honey
Whisk together everything except the figs. Slice the figs into sixths or quarters. Arrange the figs on top of the cake and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Edit Sept 27: And some additional onion green wisdom that I thought might be useful to share… Johanne mentioned that leaving the greens in water for a while can help with the toughness. Angie circumvented the whole how-do-I-eat-this issue by suggesting that the onion greens be used to infuse and flavour broth.