Shallots have a more fragrant and subtle flavor than onion and is not as harsh as garlic. The same size as a garlic bulb, it contains two or three cloves.
There are several varieties of shallots. The French gray shallot or “common shallot” is small and elongated with gray skin, a purplish head and firm and pungent flesh. The Jersey shallot or “red shallot” is a short, rounded bulb, with reddish skin and veined flesh that is not as pungent. The banana shallot is an elongated bulb with a coppery color.
Choose: firm shallots with dry skin.
Avoid: shallots that have sprouted, soft shallots or with spots on the skin.
At Room Temperature: 1 month, in a dark, cool, dry and well-ventilated place.
In The Fridge: 15 days. When cut, wrap in plastic film or place in a container and cover with olive oil (oil can be used for cooking).
Sautéed: soften shallot over a very gentle heat (do not allow to brown or burn).
SERVING IDEAS FOR SHALLOTS
Shallots are eaten raw or cooked. It is an ingredient in béarnaise, Bercy and red-wine sauces. It is used in salads, with fish and with broiled or sautéed meat. It is used to flavor beurre blanc (a white wine or vinegar and butter sauce), soups, vinaigrettes, and vegetables. The green stems can be used in the same way as chives. The bulbs can be used to flavor vinegars or oils.
Did you know that shallots are used to relieve burns and insect bites?
(This information was taken from a culinary textbook, “The Visual Food Lover’s Guide”)