Why to Cook with Shallots & a Shallot Vinaigrette

The shallot is a yummy type of onion-which are all in the Allium family-that is most commonly used in French, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.  


It rates very high on my list of ingredients when fashioning new meals because it is a fabulous way to add flavor and avoid the need for salt or heavy sauces.   It is not only a bit milder than the other onions in the Allium family, described as sweeter rather than spicy, it is also easier to digest.  Alas, it is the perfect ingredient!
 



Shallots differ from a typical onion because they don’t have a single bulb, but a cluster of them, much like garlic.  They maintain their integrity when being cooked, which makes them the chef’s best friend.  


Some nutritional benefits of shallots include:

  • Shallots are rich in vitamin A, B, C and E. 
  • Shallots contain few calories: 50-60 calories per 100 g.  
  • High concentration of flavonoids, which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

My favorite ways to use Shallots:

  • In a light butter sauce to top steamed veggies with, like steamed green beans
  • In a salad dressing
  • In soups
  • In a red wine sauce
  • With any fish dish!

My ultimate favorite shallot recipe: 
Sweet Shallot Salad Dressing (certified vegan & vegetarian!)
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Shallots, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Canola Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the shallots and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until the shallots start to soften and lightly brown -about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and combine the caramelized shallots, vinegar, and oil in a blender and mix until well blended. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Chill for at least an hour before using
  • Can keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator
NutritionAshley Pettit