Look, I don’t know what happened to the other herb plants.
I bought the cute herb ladder at Ikea, assembled it, propped it up against the porch screen, placed little pots of cilantro and mint and basil in the small white baskets. My heart knew this was no way to sustain plant life. But my Pinterest-addled brain had hope.
After years of not being able to kill the abundant rosemary plant in our backyard, and a persistent basil plant before that, I was confident in my herb-growing abilities. But within weeks, the plants had shriveled up and turned brown. The twee white pots that came with the ladder were the problem; without holes in the bottom, the water didn’t have anywhere to go, and the poor cilantro probably drowned.
To flourish, the herbs would need more room. It was time to clear out our garden bed, up until now home to that rosemary plant and a ton of scallions.
They were surprisingly potent not only in aroma but also in taste, the delicate onion flavor of a scallion there but more concentrated and pungent. I put them to great use in these soft and chewy and oniony pull-apart rolls. I’m bringing them to a potluck this weekend. And I’m thanking my long-neglected scallion plants for making it happen.
Scallion Pull-Apart Rolls
For the dough:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
¾ cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup olive oil, plus more for the bowl
For the filling:
Sesame oil, ¼ cup
6 to 8 scallions, finely chopped (about 1 cup), plus more for garnish
Red pepper flakes
1 large egg
Make the dough: In a glass measuring cup, combine the yeast, honey and warm water. Let stand until it foams, about 5 minutes.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir in the yeast mixture and the oil and mix to combine. Knead for at least 7 minutes, until smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Make the filling: Brush an 8-inch round cake pan with a thin layer of sesame oil.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a long rectangle that’s about 24 inches by 9 inches. Brush the dough with a thin layer of sesame oil and sprinkle with the scallions, a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Roll the long side of the dough up and brush the outside with more sesame oil. Cut the roll into 1 ½- to 2-inch pieces and arrange the pieces cut side up in the cake pan.
Cover and let rise for 30 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a bit more salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top begins to brown.
Source: Adapted from Modern Potluck by Kristin Donnelly