>Asparagus and sweet onions / Les asperges et les oignons de Lézignan


Onions from Lézignan-la-Cèbe are a local speciality.  They are sweet onions from a small village near Pézenas which in 1615 added ‘la Cèbe’ to its name, from the Occitan word for onion – ceba. In Occitan there is even a special verb meaning ‘to plant onions’ – cebejar.  In spring the onion growers in the village sell young plants at the roadside for replanting.  Our neighbour went there and brought 100 plants for us.

L’oignon doux de Lézignan-la-Cèbe est une spécialité de ce village près de Pézenas.  Le village a ajouté ‘la Cèbe’ à son nom en 1615 en honneur.  Ce mot vient du mot occitan ceba (oignon).  En printemps les cultivateurs d’oignons vendent les jeunes plantes au bord de la route.  Notre voisin y est allé et il nous en a apporté 100 plants.

lezignan onions_1_1 lezignan onions - planting_1_1_1

It was difficult to find space for 100 onions we hadn’t planned for, but we’ve put them in a double row alongside the potatoes.

asparagus salad 1_1_1 We’ve been lucky this week – we were given some more wild asparagus too.  We cooked the spears for a couple of minutes in boiling water, let them cool and dressed them with olive oil and a little lemon juice to eat as a salad.  They were delicious – a concentrated flavour of asparagus but with the added ‘herbyness’ of the garrigue. / On a préparé une salade d’asperges sauvages: cuire les asperges dans l’eau bouillante pour 2 minutes et puis ajouter un peu d’huile d’olive et de jus de citron.  Elles étaient delicieuses avec un gout concentré d’asperge et des herbes de la garrigue.

And a rustic wall / et un mur rustique

Lo Jardinièr has started to make a stone wall to protect our rose bushes from the north wind, using pieces of stone he’s collected.  / Lo Jardinièr a commencé la construction d’un mur en pierres pour protéger nos rosiers du vent du nord, en utilisant des pierres qu’il a ramassé.

rose wall 1_1_1_1
the first row of stones in a trench ….
rose wall 3_1_1 choosing the right stones … rose wall 2_1_1_1 work in progress.

6 thoughts on “>Asparagus and sweet onions / Les asperges et les oignons de Lézignan

  1. >interesting!I didn’t knew that you can replant the fresh green onions (we usually eat them only). In Greece they sell young plants of leeks for replanting but never young plant of onions. Is it a special heirloom variety of France these onions?

  2. >Thanks for your comments.CityGarden: This variety of onion was first grown in Persia (now Iran). No one knows how they came to Lézignan hundreds of years ago. I suppose they could be called an heirloom variety, but here we’re more likely to use the term ‘traditional variety’.Rowena: I thought you might get wild asparagus where you are, but I’ve just looked at your blog and the average daily temperature is much lower than ours, so perhaps not. Good luck with your onions!

  3. >100 onion plants that you didn’t plan for! Like the extra 12 raspberry canes Ian’s neighbour gave us just after we’d bought 20…. c’est la vie en france!

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