Spring is most definitely in the air and in the market with the arrival of our first batch of spring onions. While these squeaky new onions will be amazing in a salad, I also decide to mix them into a savory scone.
Spring onion and cheddar scones will be on the Easter menu this Sunday and we will be enjoying them open-faced with a slick of Thyme Mustard Butter and a slice of Easter ham. Accompanied by fresh tossed greens and a light tarragon mustard vinaigrette, this is an easy market meal as appropriate during the week as it is for a holiday.
While I am not an avid baker, I often make scones as they suit my last-minute scrambling. Butter can be taken (and is best) straight from the freezer. There also is no need for a rolling pin as the dough just needs to be handled and pressed into a disk, which I do directly on the baking sheet so that clean up is simple.
This is the first time I’ve made a savory (as opposed to sweet) scone. Using the same recipe, I usually add a 1/4 cup of sugar and whatever suits me on a given day, sometimes blueberries, chocolate chips or candied ginger. This recipe suits all variations.
The Thyme Mustard Butter is easy but does require butter that is allowed to come to room temperature overnight. This recipe easily doubles if you want leftovers, and you will. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week and is delicious dabbed onto a steak or lamb chops. I’ve also spread a layer on top of a white fish filet then broiled until the fish is cooked for an almost instant meal that actually tastes and looks like something I might eat at a brasserie.
No matter how you decide to celebrate our first Spring harvest this weekend, I hope that you do. The trees and the farmers market will be in full bloom soon and we have much more to look forward to.
- 4 spring onions (about ½ cup chopped white and greens)
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled or frozen
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup heavy cream or sour cream
- 1 egg
- 4 Tablespoons best-quality butter (European style, if possible) at room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 grinds black pepper (about ⅛ teaspoon)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves), chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 Tablespoons best-quality olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon green onion, white part only, minced
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove the roots and about 2 inches of greens from the top. Remove outer layer of onions and rinse. Roughly chop.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut frozen butter into small pieces using a butcher knife. (I usually cut in quarters lengthwise, then chop by Tablespoons, roughly)
- Measure flours, baking powder and salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor, add butter.
- Pulse together until butter becomes pebbly and mixture looks like rough sand.
- In a glass measuring cup, measure cream and add the egg. Beat to combine.
- Add cream mixture to the food processor, pulse until combined.
- Add onions and cheddar cheese, pulse until combined.
- Pour pebbly dough onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone sheet or parchment paper. Squeeze together to form a disk about 7-8 inches in diameter and at about an inch thick. (As you pour out your pebbly dough, you may think that it will never come together, but it will! Just squeeze together and press. If you really feel it is too crumbly, dribble a tiny bit of cream into the dough but I doubt you will need it.)
- Using a sharp knife, cut into eight triangles (cut across the diameter one way, then the other, then on the diagonals.)
- Separate triangles and set at least 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake until lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients (butter, salt, pepper, thyme leaves and mustard). Mix until thoroughly combined. Will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.
- In a small jar that has a tight lid, combine mustard, vinegar, olive oil, tarragon and green onion. Screw on top tightly and shake until fully emulsified. (The olive oil is no longer separate from the vinegar but thoroughly combined.) Or, you can whisk together in a small bowl.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour over 4 large handfuls of greens and toss to combine.