Shallots are small to medium in size, averaging five centimeters in length, depending on the specific variety, and are oblong with tapered ends. The bulbous bulbs are encased in a dry, papery, thin skin that flakes when touched and ranges in color from copper, gold, pale pink, to red. Inside the skin, there are clusters of cloves, divided into individually wrapped segments, similar to garlic. Small Shallot varieties average 2-3 cloves, and larger varieties typically contain 3-6 cloves. The firm, dense, and juicy cloves are off-white to translucent with light purple rings. Shallots are aromatic, spicy, sweet, and crisp when raw and when cooked, they develop a delicate, sweet, and savory flavor with notes of garlic.
When added to a dish, onions make it come alive with aromatic undertones. When used raw, they add a punch to salads and salsa. But the real magic takes place when they’re cooked: A light sauté or slow roast mellows their pungent, acrid flavors and coaxes out their natural sweetness.
If you’re looking to save time, try our peeled version!