Tonight i tried roasting my Egyptian walking onions and a very bitter chicory. The chicory, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasted wonderful on Italian bread -- it was a bit tough. Good to know i can eat them like this.
Egyptian walking onions don't make big bulbs. They divide into additional bulbs over time. They are particularly known for their tops that, instead of becoming flowers, become little cloned plants, "bulbils". (I've you've had a spider plant that had bayb spider plants on the stems -- those are botanically bulbils, too. The walking onion bulbils however look like little onion bulbs.) I've been growing them for years now, generally just letting them multiply -- the bulbs in the ground dividing to make a clump, the bulbils falling on the ground and making new clumps. I've had the green onion leaves in my mixed sauteed greens, but i really haven't been using the plants.
This winter i ripped out my old patch in the fenced part of the garden and moved them out of the fence: deer don't eat onions. There are a few clumps in various places from previous year propagation attempts, so i've been pondering what to do with them. The bulbs and bulbils are not particularly mild onions. One attempt at pickling last year didn't go as well as i would have liked.
I pulled up three. At this time of year the base is a little broader than the rest of the plant, but it's more like a scallion than a spring onion (no round bulb at the end.) From that end to the top, it's about two feet or 60 cm.
Onion scapes (or garlic or leek or tulip or lily or gladiolus scape) are "a peduncle arising from a compressed or subterranean stem, with the lower internodes very long and hence few or no bracts except the part near the rachis or receptacle." Cough. It's a hollow stem for the flowering part of bulbs to be far less precise and much more clear. So the stem and the flower buds of onions are edible, and there were scapes on these plants. The top six inches are tender, but the rest is a fairly rigid hollow stem. I cut them into sections of the hollow tubes. I trimmed the leaves from the bases of the onions and cut them in half laterally. I left the tough scape to see whether it would be edible after roasting.
These i drizzled with (too much) olive oil and salt and pepper. Roasting at 400°F for half an hour produced some very crispy bits (didn't get oil on those) and some very mushy bits. It caramelized up nicely,so that's a plus. The lower parts of the scapes were kind of tough: if i was serving to guests i think i would remove them.
As an experiment i think it turned out pretty well. Moderate my olive oil use in the future, do a better job coating, keep the tough bits out of what others might eat. I'm eating them on my salad tonight.
The leaves -- which are the diameter of say two drinking straws -- i've cut up into small pieces along with small pieces of celery leaves from the garden and some sage and sage flowers. I'm dehydrating them, and i hope to blend them into a powder. I made an onion-celery-sage mix with store bought onion and sage a year or so ago, and it was nice to mix into things. I'm hoping this will be an intense seasoning mixture.