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Scallions That Keep Growing

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2012

If you store cut scallions in a glass of water, will they grow back?

We trimmed three bunches of scallions to about 3 inches above the white bulbs and set each bunch in a glass with 2 inches of tap water. We placed the glasses on a sunny windowsill, changed the water daily, and watched for developments.

We were happily surprised to find that the scallion tops grew back quickly—about an inch per day. After a week, we cut off the new green tops and tasted them. They were pleasantly pungent and actually more crisp and fresh-tasting than many store-bought scallions. Encouraged, we repeated the process with the same scallions; this time the tops grew half as fast, came back skinnier, and tasted a bit milder.

The nutrients stored in the scallion’s white bulb are sufficient to regrow the tops once or twice, but the plants eventually run out of fuel. If you use scallion greens more often than whites, though, this is a clever way to ensure that you’ll always have a supply on hand. One shopping note: Select scallions with roots longer than ½ inch, as they’ll grow faster.

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