Shallots are a type of onion that feature a delicate combination of onion and garlic flavors.
What are shallots?
Shallots are members of the allium family and are closely related to onions and garlic. Shallots look like tiny onions and have a mild and delicate taste with hints of sweetness and garlic.
Types of shallots
There are three types of commonly available shallots:
Grey Shallots: Also called French grey shallots, these are named after their grey outer skin and are highly regarded for their flavor.
Jersey Shallots: The most commonly available in the U.S. these shallots have a pink outer skin.
Banana Shallots: Also called Echalion shallots, these can be identified by their longish banana-like shape. Technically, banana shallots are an onion/shallot hybrid and can be used in recipes that call for either.
When should you use shallots
So when should you use shallots instead of onions? Well, it depends. If you’re cooking a recipe that requires onions, shallots are a perfect substitute. Just be aware that shallots have a milder flavor than onions so are unlikely to match their intensity. Shallots can be used in a variety of cooked dishes and thanks to their subtle flavor, shallots can be enjoyed raw in salads without being overpowering. Shallots also work well in vinaigrettes and dressings. Try our recipes for Brothy Beans and Lentil, White Wine Braised Chicken Thighs, Sweet and Savory Pork Salad, or Yellow Curry Chicken, which all utilize this mighty allium.