A member of the onion family, but formed more like garlic than onions. Shallots are favored for their mild onion flavor, and can be used in the same manner as onions. A shallot looks like a small, elongated onion with a copper, reddish, or gray skin. When peeled, shallots separate into into cloves like garlic. There are two main types of shallots: Jersey or “false” shallots (larger) and “true” shallots (more subtle flavor. Fresh green shallots are available in the spring and dry shallots (dry skin/moist flesh) are available year-round. Shallots come in three sizes – small, medium and jumbo (the least tasty). The younger (smaller) the shallot, the milder the taste. Do not confuse shallots with green onions or scallions.
Season: April – August
How to select: Look for firm, dry bulbs, free from sprouts. They should be well covered with a papery skin and no sign or wrinkling or sprouting. Also available freeze-dried and dehydrated.
How to store: Store in a dry shallots in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place for a month or more. Fresh shallots should be refrigerated up to one week.
Substitutions: small white onions, though the flavor will not be quite the same.