Why You Should Be Adding Charred Scallions To Your Onion Dip

There's no such thing as an onion dip with too many onions. In fact, a colorful medley of sweetly sautéed Spanish onions, caramelized shallots, and zesty frizzled pearl onions will only make the creamy dip more interesting and, by default, more delicious. Although there's no limit to which combination of flavorful alliums you can work into your recipe, know that charred scallions belong in onion dip.

Despite their delicate flavor, scallions are loaded with complexity. Their green and grassy stems boast a sweet earthiness, whereas their white bulbs offer a mildly peppery zing. While slowly cooking them down in a pan can mellow flavors, a quick flash of heat does just the opposite — rendering scallions much punchier in taste and more appealing in aesthetics. That said, charring still allows scallions to caramelize, letting the onions sweeten and soften as one might expect of cooked allium. However, charring also gives scallions a chance to develop depth thanks to the intense smokiness imparted by being blackened on a fiery grill.

Charred scallions can create balance while producing a more varied and unique-tasting onion dip. Their bitter-tasting blackened bits can offset the decadence of a dairy-based onion dip, much like how the sweetness from caramelization can tame the sourness of the dip. No matter which reason you find most compelling, incorporating char-marked scallions into onion dip is worth the (very) minimal effort required to make them.

How to give scallions the perfect char

After rinsing and drying bunches of firm and brightly colored scallions, start by trimming the green tops and white root ends, ensuring not to cut off too much so that the bulbs stay intact. Then, coat them in olive oil and some salt before you start charring. Whole scallions can be placed directly on hot grill grates, but you can also use a cast iron pan to get those blacked bits.

The key to charring scallions properly is not to overcook them. Grill them for no more than a few minutes, turning at least once for even char marks. Once the stalks have wilted slightly and the onions have somewhat blackened, they can be pulled from the heat and cooled. All that's left to do is to give them a rough chop, before folding them into your onion dip.

While an onion dip laced with charred scallions is likely to excite taste buds, you can also introduce other complimentary ingredients. Mix in a dollop of miso paste or confit garlic cloves for more umami, drizzle in honey or maple for a sweeter finish, or whisk in citrus zest or herbs to brighten flavors. You can even lean into the smokiness of the charred scallions with a sprinkle of chipotle powder or some crumbled bacon bits. Whichever way you decide to customize the onion dip is up to you — just don't forget the crackers and crudité when you serve it!