IN SEASON - July, August, September, October
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.
Store shallots in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place for a month or more. Fresh shallots should be refrigerated up to one week.
Shallots work particularly well in dishes using wine. Although shallots carmelize like onions, it is important to saute them gently. Browning over high heat is likely to turn them bitter, much like garlic. You can roast shallots in their skins until soft. Then peel, puree and use as a flavoring for soups or sauces. Shallots do not give bad breath like garlic or onions, and are more easily digestible.