The wild ramp, AKA wild leek, botanical name Allium tricoccum, is a flowering perennial plant that grows in clusters. It is a member of the Allium family along with onions and leeks
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Onion sprouts are small in size and are long, thin, and spindly in shape. The white and green stems are slender and pliable, often capped with a small, black seed at the end of the stem from which the stem originally sprouted. Depending on the amount of light the sprouts have received, the sprouts will range in color from pale green to bright green. Onion sprouts are delicate, soft, and crunchy with a nutty and slightly sweet, pungent flavor, but the flavor is milder and less potent than a full-grown onion.
Onion sprouts are available year-round.
Onion sprouts, botanically classified as Allium cepa, are the young shoots of onion seeds and are members of the Amaryllidaceae family. Unlike other sprouts which typically grow the root of the plant first, onion seeds sprout the actual plant producing a micro scallion. Onion sprouts are considered one of the most flavorful varieties of sprouts and are valued for their soft, crunchy texture, strong onion flavor, and are commonly used fresh in salads and sandwiches.
Onion sprouts contain vitamins, A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, amino acids, and protein.
Onion sprouts are best suited for fresh preparations as their delicate nature cannot withstand high heat applications. The sprouts are typically added at the end of preparations and are layered in sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas, tossed into salads, used as a garnish, sprinkled onto soups or combined with fresh herbs and soft cheeses as an appetizer. The sprouts can also be rolled in a nori wrap with raw vegetable and avocado, placed on top of sushi, or consumed with sashimi. Onion sprouts pair well with grilled meats, pasta, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower greens, steamed rice, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, carrots, and seafood. The sprouts will keep 3-5 days when stored in a sealed container in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Onion sprouts are produced commercially and are also a popular variety for home gardening. Grown for their high nutritional properties, Onion sprouts are one of the few sprouts that produce a plant before the root system. This provides a stronger flavor and depending on the exposure to sunlight, the Onion sprout can produce high amounts of chlorophyll, which is a pigment that can contribute to overall daily health and aging.
Onions are native to Asia and have been cultivated for thousands of years. While the exact origins of cultivating Onion seeds solely for the sprouts is unknown, ancient Chinese physicians have been using sprouts medicinally for over 5,000 years. Today Onion sprouts are widely available and can be found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and home gardens in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Recipes that include Onion Sprouts. One is easiest, three is harder.
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