Also known as salad onions, green onions, and sometimes scallions, these mild-tasting onions are young plants, which if left in the ground, would develop into mature onions.
Even though you can buy spring onions all year round, British varieties are at their best from May to September. Choose small, thin-stemmed varieties for a subtle taste, and more mature ones for pungency.
IN THE KITCHEN
To prepare, trim the roots away and strip off any extra outer leaves before leaving whole or slicing. Some recipes call for the white part only, but their delicate, green tops have a milder, more subtle appeal.
Although usually enjoyed raw in salads, they're often added to stir-fries, omelettes, and dressings. If you can't get hold of shallots, try using spring onions instead. When chopped, they don't take long to soften in olive oil or butter - around a minute. Cook them over a gentle heat for best results.
Try combining them in the salad bowl with orange segments, avocadoes or crisp fennel slices.