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Spring onion? Shallot? Green onion? There’s a bit of confusion in my house about what these guys are called, but either way the humble shallot can do a lot for your cuisine.
They can transform miso soup from something you might scoff at your desk to a mini meal worth instagraming. You can use them to garnish, add flavour, or pop in a salad dressing.
The problem is, one shallot goes a long way and you often have to buy them in a big bunch. If not stored properly, they quickly go limp and are lost to the sad section at the back of the fridge that you really should do something about but for some reason never do.
First things first
When you purchase your shallots trim the tops and bulbs – keep them, because we'll be using them later. I like to cut them in half again because I think they're easier to store, then wrap them in a damp (not wet) cloth, put them in an airtight container and they'll store in the fridge for ages. I can get about a month at least!
Shock me, Shock me
Storage is all well and good, but what if you're reading this post and you already have a wilted bunch hidden somewhere in your fridge? Veggies go limp because they've lost their moisture (which is why the damp cloth is a good idea). You can revitalise your shallots by shocking them in a bath of ice water for about 20 minutes and they'll be back – or at least close to – their former glory.
From little things big things grow
I'll be honest and that say I'm not much of a green thumb, but I was reading our post 17 foods to buy once and reuse forever and saw a section on regrowing shallots. It's crazy simple and it works! Take the bulbs that you cut off earlier and either pop them in a glass of water or a little pot with soil, put them on the windowsill or somewhere sunny and after a day or two they'll start shooting up!
Our resident gardener Steph says you can use them for three or four regrows before you need to buy new ones. Here are some of mine – the ones on the left are a fresh plant and the ones on the right are about a week old.
I love the idea of cooking root to shoot. When I'm cooking and there's a part of the veggie that I don't feel like or the recipe doesn't call for, I chop them up and put them in the freezer. After a month or two I have a big container of frozen veggie scraps that I can use to make a vegetarian stock. It's delish and nothing goes to waste!
Alternatively, you can chop them up into smaller pieces and put them in the freezer to add last minute in your cooking. You don't need to defrost them – the heat from the pan will do it for you.
Et voilà Shallots for all!