Shallots resemble onions and,like them, are in the genusAllium. Thought to have originatedin western or centralAsia. The bulb is divided intosections that grow on a commonbase; it is prized in cookingfor its distinctive flavor, acombination of mild onion andpungent garlic. Young greenshoots are also used asscallions.
Shallots are usually grownfrom cloves (sections of bulbs).You can purchase these froma seed company or simply buyshallots in the grocery storeand separate them into cloves.Nurseries with stocks of herbsmay sell growing plants.
Dutch shallots have goldenbrown skin and white cloves;red shallots have coppery skin,purple cloves.
In mild climates, plant shallotsat least 6 weeks beforeaverage date of first fall frost toharvest green tops through winterand early spring, bulbs inlate spring and summer. In cold-winterregions, plant in earlyspring for green shoots in summer,bulbs in autumn.
Plant cloves, pointed end up,4–8 in. apart; cover with 1/2 in.of soil. From spring planting,you’ll have green shoots inabout 60 days, new bulbs in90 to 120 days. Some seedcompanies sell shallot seeds;plant 12 seeds per foot. Bulbswill be ready to harvest in about100 days.
When bulbs mature, shootsyellow and die. Pull up clumpsand separate the bulbs; beforeusing them, let dry for abouta month in a cool, dry place. Ifstored properly, shallots willkeep for up to 8 months.
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