When I saw this recipe for butter braised spring onions in the May issue of Bon Apetit magazine, my wheels immediately began turning for delicious ways to try this out. It seemed only natural to also butter poach a light flaky fish to complement the tender sweet onions.
It’s recipes like this that make me so thankful for spring. After months of noshing on hearty, heavy root vegetables my tastebuds so yearn for the lighter, tender and crisp (usually green) vegetables.
Year after year, the chives in my herb garden surprise me by springing back to life after spending the winter in a sad,shriveled straw heap. After the last few downpours in Dallas these guys are fuller than ever. I took it as a sign.
The sweet spring onions and fresh chives are the star of the recipe here – you could really fill in the blank with any other protein you’d like. I suggest making this side dish as often as you can while these sweet beauties are in season.
Butter Poached Tilapia & Spring Onions
6-8 spring onions (root ends trimmed)
5 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
2 Tilapia filets
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt & Pepper
Lay onions in a large skillet, trimming top of dark greens to fit. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup water to skillet; season with salt. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer onions until greens are soft and bulbs are almost tender, 10-15 minutes.
Uncover and transfer onions to a plate. Add 1/2 cup white wine and one more tbs butter to the skillet. Add fish filets, sprinkle the top with salt and fresh black pepper (to taste) and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes until fish is almost fully opaque throughout.
Uncover and add the onions back to the skillet, turning onions occasionally, cook until bulbs are completely tender and fish is completely opaque, 3-5 minutes longer.
Plate onions and top with fish. Turn heat to medium-high and reduce cooking liquid down by half, about 1-2 minutes. Add remaining tbs of butter and spoon over the plated fish. Garnish with fresh chives.