You may have seen shallots in the kitchens before on all the cooking shows and you may wonder, “What do you use a shallot for?”
What do you use a shallot for?
Well, traditionally, it’s always been used like garlic, as the base of certain ingredients. Classically, in French cuisine, the sauce beurre blanc always starts with a shallow white wine reduction, before emulsifying with the cold butter. But it’s kind of selling this wonderful root vegetable short.
Thought to be native to southeast Asia, most botanists think it was first grown in the ancient city of Ashkelon. The shallot is used throughout European cuisine, as well as southeast Asian cuisine.
A few tips on using them
Sliced and cooked, be careful if you’re sautéing it not to brown it, because, much like garlic, it’ll get bitter. Frying it is a different story, it pulls out the nutty sweetness. Maybe use this on top of Grandma’s green bean casserole at Thanksgiving instead of the pre-done fried onions, for a great twist on a classic.
In Asia, they’re often found pickled or fried as garnishes.
But what else can you do with them?
Me, personally, I like to dice my shallots up a little fine—brunoise-size, in fact—and let the red wine vinegar marinate for my vinaigrette. Before using, I let it sit for about five minutes, and then, I emulsify in some really good olive oil. The shallots add a certain piquant-bite to the vinaigrette that was otherwise lacking.
In Scandinavia, they take shallots with a little butter, some dill, salt,and pepper, wrap them up in foil packs and put them on their barbecue grill for a wonderful side salad of roasted shallots. Not your thing? Consider slicing them thin, along with some European cucumbers, add a little sugar, some salt, a splash of white vinegar, and garnish with some cilantro, for a great Italian-inspired summer salad.
Check out Chef Dan’s full video here
Content provided by Chef Daniel Snowden, the Director of Culinary Development for FreshPoint Central Florida. He has been in the produce industry years almost 20 years, and loves getting geeky about food. Follow FreshPoint Central Florida on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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