Grilled Spring Onions with Pistachio Butter

Young spring onions with smaller bulbs cook more evenly on a hot grill and are ideal for this lovely starter or side dish. If you can only find onions with larger bulbs, halve them lengthwise before cooking.

Grilled Spring Onions with Pistachio Butter
Photo: © Alanna Hale
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 to 6


  • 1 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cardamom pod

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups whole pitted prunes

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted pistachios

  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 25 young spring onions or large scallions, trimmed

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon Urfa or Aleppo pepper (see Note)

  • Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 cup of water. Wrap the cardamom, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a cheesecloth bundle and add to the saucepan. Simmer the brine over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Put the prunes in a heatproof bowl, pour the brine over them and let stand for 2 hours.

  2. Drain the prunes, reserving the brine. Discard the spice bundle and bay leaf. Simmer the brine until it coats the back of a spoon, 10 minutes, then pour over the prunes in the bowl.

  3. Preheat the oven to 300°. Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool. Add the garlic and lemon zest and process until finely chopped, 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water and process until a smooth paste forms; season with salt.

  4. Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the spring onions with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt. Grill the onions over moderately high heat until tender and lightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes.

  5. Quarter 8 of the prunes. (Save the rest for another use.) Spread the yogurt and pistachio butter on a platter. Top with the grilled onions and season with the Urfa pepper. Garnish with the prunes, mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil; serve immediately.


An Aleppo pepper (pronounced Uh-LEPPO) is a dried ground pepper from Syria and Turkey. It's mildly spicy, tart and fruity. An Urfa pepper (pronounced ER-fah) is a smoky, coarsely ground Turkish chile.

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