Posts Tagged ‘shallots’


Shallots from our 2012 Wenatche Valley Farmers Market booth.

People come up to us at the stand and are excited to see that we’ve got shallots. Fact is, we’re growing the famous French grey shallots this year and we think they’ll be a smash hit. But other people stop and question what is a shallot? The quick answer is it’s a milder onion.

Shallots are technically an alium, which puts them in the same family as garlic and onions.

  • The shallot is a botanical variety of the species Alliumcepa, to which the multiplier onion also belongs.
  • Shallots probably originated in Central or Southeast Asia, travelling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean.
  • Like garlic, shallots are formed in clusters of offsets with a head composed of multiple cloves. The skin colour of shallots can vary from golden brown to gray to rose red, and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta.
  • Shallots are extensively cultivated for culinary uses.

Like onions and garlic, they form a bulb underground and send a long green stalk upwards. When that turns brown and falls over, the shallots are generally ready to harvest. Storage for them is similar. Dry them down, keep them from getting overly warm or damp, and they will store for six months or more. You can use them in much the same way as onions, but their flavor is different. They are nothing like a Walla Walla Sweet, nor are they as spicy as garlic. I think the best way to try the grey shallots and get used to the flavor is raw.

Here’s a great recipe for using raw shallots and cherry tomatoes:

Cherry Tomato Salad

2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T red wine vinegar
1 large shallot, minced
1 T drained capers
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup (plus 2 T) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup finely shredded basil

In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, shallot, capers and garlic. Whisk in the oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and basil and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.


And here’s another:

Baby Yukon Potato Salad with Shallots, Chives, Bacon and Lemon Vinaigrette

1-3/4 lb. baby Yukon Gold potatoes
kosher salt
4 strips bacon
1/4 cup minced shallot (from 1 large shallot)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes in a 4 – 5 quart saucepan and cover by about 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 T salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil gently until the potatoes are tender enough to pierce easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook them or they will fall apart.

Meanwhile, put the bacon slices in a cold 10-inch skillet and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate, reserving the drippings. Coarsely chop or crumble the bacon and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander and let cool slightly. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half any that are larger than a walnut. Taste a bit of potato skin; if it is bitter or feels tough, peel all the potatoes with a paring knife.

Drop the potatoes into the bowl with the shallot mixture. Add the olive oil, 2 T of the chives, 1 T bacon drippings, and the chopped bacon. Toss to combine. (It may appear that there’s too much dressing, but it will be absorbed). Let the salad sit for 20 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt, if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Bon appetit!


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: