Always Put A Green Onion On Your Snack Board

Always Put A Green Onion On Your Snack Board
A recent unhinged snack board of mine (Photo: Claire Lower)

Snack boards, whether they be cheese or charcuterie based, are never just cheese and/or charcuterie. For a truly balanced board, you need pickles, a jam or honey, and other salty, crunchy, and piquant bits and pieces to highlight and complement the main attraction. You also need a green onion.

Growing up, every special occasion meal at my grandmother’s house featured a “pickle plate,” and every pickle plate contained a few whole, fresh green onions. My grandmother would dip the green onions in a little pile of iodised salt that sat on her dinner plate, to cut through the rich, butter- and cream-heavy offerings that frequented our holiday meals. I thought she was the only one who did this, until I ordered the “drinking board” at a nearby Russian restaurant, and found a whole-arse green onion—with a pile of flakey salt!—sitting amongst the whipped salo, cheese spread, boiled eggs, and various cured meats. I was delighted.

The role of the green onion on a snack board is not unlike the role of a pickled onion—it’s just a more aggressive approach. The verdant pungency resets your palate, cutting through all that richness and preparing your mouth for the next meaty or cheesy bite. It helps you appreciate the cheese and meat fully, and that is very valuable. You can also dip the green onion directly into a creamy cheese before dipping it in salt, which creates a sort of deconstructed sour cream and onion moment. (Yes, I am very good at snacking and so was my grandmother.)

Whole green onions need very little prep, just rinse them and peel away any yucky outer layers, and trim off any wilted ends. Place it across the snack board diagonally for a nice visual effect. Once you’ve chomped your way to the little roots—and you will—trim off the the bitten end and save the roots for frying. They crisp up into lovely golden strands, perfect for sprinkling on cheese spreads.

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