If you put a teeny, tiny smidge of effort into storing your green onions (a.k.a. scallions), they can last you a long, long time. If you add a teenier, tinier bit more, your green onions could theoretically last you forever. Imagine always having fresh scallions on hand to be roughly chopped and sprinkled upon anything you please at the drop of a hat — that’s a dream that you can live as long as you’ve got paper towels, an airtight container, and a windowsill.
Here’s everything you need to know about storing green onions.
How to Choose Green Onions
Before you begin, it’s important to start with good, healthy looking green onions that don’t look as if they’re on their last leg. Green onions are almost always sold in bunches and can be thick or thin, and when purchasing, size doesn’t matter as much as quality does.
Look for ones that are strong and sturdy, with bulbs that don’t bend or wilt when under gentle pressure, and green stalks that aren’t flaccid or papery. They should not feel excessively wet or slimy, nor should they be dry, wrinkled, or appeal as if the layers are peeling away from each other.
How to Store Green Onions
To prepare your green onions, remove any excess packaging and rinse well. Trim off the roots and set aside. Trim any rough parts off the top of the green ends, then cut the onions in half where the white bulb turns into green stalks.
Double up a paper towel, run it briefly under cold water, then wring out as much as you can until the towels are just barely damp. Lay the scallion whites out in the middle of the paper towel, then roll up loosely and place in an airtight plastic container or ziptop bag. Repeat the process with two more paper towels and the scallion greens, and store in the same bag.
When refrigerated, the damp paper towels will provide enough humidity for the scallions to remain crisp and fresh-tasting, while also absorbing any excess moisture that would cause the scallions to become slimy and rotten.
How to Plant Green Onions
Once your green onions are safely tucked inside the refrigerator, it’s time to turn your attention to the green onions of your future. Take the root ends that you had trimmed off previously and place them in a small pot of soil, or a glass filled with about ½-inch of water.
Find a place where it can get at least eight hours of sunshine, and allow yourself to be amazed as brand new green onions grow from the scraps of those that are sitting comfortably in your fridge, waiting to be tossed into salads, stirred into marinades, or chopped and sprinkled over anything you please.