Onion Troubles

I have a confession.

No matter how many times I come across a recipe or cook with them, I can never for the life of me remember the difference between green onions, scallions, and shallots.

For those of you who are in the know, forgive me. For those of you who are not, quick lesson.

Scallions are from the Allium family and go by many names, including green onions, green shallots (grrr), gibbons, syboes, etc.

Shallots, though they look quite different, are also from the Allium family and are called different things around the globe, though Aussies lovingly refer to them as ‘scallions.’

So, even though scallions and shallots are different beasts, scallions are also called shallots, and shallots are also called scallions. This is why I get confused. And also why I used green onions in place of shallots in my dinner tonight. Seriously, I don’t even know if I’ve seen a shallot at the grocery store–I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled!

With a log of polenta waiting in the fridge weeks for me to use, I finally browsed a few recipes before settling on a winner adapted from Bon Appetit:

Tomato-Basil Sauce with Polenta

I halved the recipe, per usual.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 16 oz polenta log, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (I got 8)
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large sprigs basil
  • cheese for topping (I used romano)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and arrange polenta rounds on oiled sheet.

In a food processor, very coarsely chop half the tomatoes (6-8 pulses should do it). In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes with olive oil and remaining ingredients.

Stack three sheets of parchment paper 24X12 in a rimmed pan. Spoon tomato mixture onto one side, fold parchment over, and crimp to seal.

Place baking pan with tomatoes on upper rack and pan with polenta on lower rack. Bake, flipping polenta rounds once, until polenta is light golden.

and tomato sauce is steaming, about 25-30 minutes.

I let these cool while I whipped up one of the fastest veggie dishes known to man (besides raw veggies), wilted spinach.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and let cook about one minute. Toss in a bunch of spinach. A huge amount. Like ‘That looks like a salad!’ amount.

Cover and let cook about two minutes. Then remove the cover, turn heat to high, and stir the spinach for about another 30 seconds, until your spinach looks itty bitty.

Stir in a pinch of salt, ground pepper, and a dash of lemon juice.

Spoon tomato sauce over polenta and decorate your plate with dollops of wilted spinach, feeling all fancy-like.

Try not to devour this flavorful and amazing dish too quickly.

Fancy people eat slowly.

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