We’re immature onions and our grown-ups are always telling us to behave, to get serious, as if their way of doing things is the only way. Does that happen to you? We may not be fully grown but we’re smart. We know what’s what and we can do just as good a job in food as any grown-up onion. Let me tell you more about us because people get really confused about just what we are.
Because we don’t look or smell like an onion, people don’t realise that we can be used in place of onions when that stronger taste is not necessary. Several fresh shallots, sliced all the way from our white tube to our lovely green stem-like leaves, add flavour galore to a salad.
The Japanese use a similar onion called a bunching onion or Welsh onion which can also be called shallots. Just to confuse you, the French eschallot with its cluster of small bulbs is also referred to as a shallot. In the USA we are known as scallions as well as bunching, green and spring onions. The truth is we’re a type of onion which has been harvested when immature and our bulbs have yet to develop. We have a long, white, slender tube-like bottom about 1-2cm in diameter topped by long, slender, green, tube-like leaves approximately 30-35cm long. We can be used from tip to toe to make your dishes delicious.
Did you know?
Why Shallots are Good to Eat
How Shallots are Grown and Harvested
We can be used in salads and as a flavouring when we’re about 6mm in diameter. Our stems are pulled from the ground by hand and our outer skin is peeled off and our roots trimmed before packaging for market.
We can also be harvested when we’re mature and our bulb has formed. We’re left in the ground until our leaves have almost dried off. Like onions, we can be extracted from the ground by a large harvester.
How to Keep Shallots
Prime Growing Areas
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook Shallots
Strip away our outside leaves and chop off our root. Our green leaf tops are not as strong in flavour as our white base. If we’re dipped whole in hot water for 20 seconds and drained our taste will not be as strong.
Finely chop and add to salads, vegetables, scrambled eggs, fried rice, fish, meat, chicken, stir-fries, sauces and even butter for a more savoury tasting spread.
Why not check out some of these shallot ideas:
Shallot and Parsley Butter
Shallot and Pecan Dip
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