Hand drawn image of Shallots

Shallots

Allium cepa var. aggregatum

Though related to onions, shallots are milder, sweeter and ideal in salads, dressings, roasts and stews. A fiend to grow but well worth the effort.

Image of Shallots being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Keep them cool on a veg rack, ideally with some air movement, and they should keep for a few weeks.

Prep & Cooking tips

Easy to peel with a small sharp knife. If keeping them whole, remove the end tip and peel the skin down to the root, nick away the very end of the root but leave enough intact to keep everything together. If slicing, it is easier to remove both ends and then cut in half before peeling. Although they taste milder than an onion this is no guarantee of tear-free chopping.

Can be braised or added to stews whole. They’ll work in place of onions for any dish, but not necessarily vice versa, and will need a little less cooking. They are often used raw in salads or as a garnish, but be sparing as they still have a raw potency.

Easy ideas

1. Cooked whole

Peel them whole and fry in a little oil until starting to colour. Tip in a small glass of wine (red or white), some chopped garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Add 400ml good stock and roast or simmer until soft and collapsing. Serve with a rare steak or fold into a slow cooked stew.

2. Garnish

Peel and finely slice. Throw the slices in a bowl of seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Heat an inch of oil in a high sided pan and deep fry the shallots until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and throw with sea salt. A great salad or steak garnish.

3. Vinaigrette

Very finely dice one shallot, mix with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp red wine/rice vinegar, add 3 tbsp olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Shake together well. Perfect with raw oysters or to dress a green salad.

Goes well with

Cheese (Cheddar, Blue cheese, Parmesan)

Fresh herbs (Thyme, Rosemary)

Anchovies

Beef

Garlic

Tomato

Shallots recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: Kees Timmers , Engwierum, Netherlands

    Based in the small village of Engwierum in the agricultural province of Friesland, De Grote Tor supply us with a variety of organic onions from punchy white and red onions to sweeter shallots.

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