Shallots may be a little confusing, but what about shallot greens ?
If you’re even a little familiar with shallots, you’ll know they taste like a cross between an onion and garlic, and a little bit watery. Naturally, they grow long, thin leaves, just like onions and garlic.
You may be wondering if those nice shallot greens are edible, and we’re here to help you out.
Are shallot greens edible ?
Yes, shallot greens are edible. In fact, all parts of shallot are edible and they can be eaten raw. Shallot greens are like spring onions with fresh long leaves.
Shallot greens are used just like spring onions, and can be used in stir fries, rice dishes, stews, sauces, salads, you name it.
As it turns out, shallots are part of the same family as onions, garlic, chives, and leeks. That’s a very flavorful family.
The real discussion is mostly on whether you can find shallot greens in the first place, and how you can use them in your food. We’re going to be covering that today, don’t worry.
Shallot greens offer all the benefits of eating something similar to onion greens. But they don’t have that strong onion smell that may come from spring onions, so they’re a little easier on the nose.
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What is a shallot, and which parts can you eat ?
Shallots belong to the Allium species and it is one of the many Allium plants that are edible and used as food. All parts of these Allium plants are edible.
There are about 600 different plants in the Allium species, but only about 30 plants are regularly used for food. These include shallots, leeks, onion, garlic, and chives. All the three parts i.e., leaves, bulb, and the flowers of these plants are edible.
Shallot leaves are edible
The shallot green leaves, which grow long like those of spring onion, are not only edible but they are quite a delicacy. Shallot flowers and leaves are commonly used in salads, as shallot leaves are not much different from spring onions.
They are also used as standalone vegetables, as well as an important condiment in major meat-based dishes. These greens can also be used in bread and other dishes to add a bit of fresh vegetable and flavor.
Have you ever tried eating spring onions ? During spring, onions come with long green leaves. Most people relish the taste of the onion greens as they have a mild flavor of fresh onion, especially compared to fully matured onions.
Shallot greens are not much different. You can use them pretty much the same way you would use onion greens. It’s freshness and luxuriant green is always inviting and tempting. So much so you can start eating them raw.
Shallot bulbs are also edible
Shallot bulbs are milder than fully grown ones, and shallots are milder than onions.
Whether you want to cook them or eat them raw, shallots are just fine in whatever way you want to use it. Older folks even pickle shallot bulbs for that extra zing, try finding some because they’re delicious.
Shallots are never a meal or a complete dish by themselves, but add a ton of flavor. It’s a condiment and a supporting item for the main dish. For eating, you should peel off the first layer of papery skin, chop off the coarse ends, and it’s ready to be eaten.
You can use shallot bulbs in a wide range of curry and meat dishes. It will give a milder onion flavor than regular onions, and this compliments more delicate dishes, like those that contain fish or rabbit.
Shallot flowers & seeds can be used too
The shallot seeds can be marinated and sprouted, just like broccoli or wheat sprouts.
The shallot flowers go well with salads, but they’re not easy to come by unless you grow your own shallots.
A few ways to use shallot greens
Shallot greens can make a great addition to most of your sautés, stir-fries, soups, salads, side dishes, and casseroles.
They go well with garlic and you can use olive oil to cook it with. You can pair it with balsamic vinegar, and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme. This can create a nice reduction that will flavor almost any dish perfectly.
You can also create sauces and marinades with shallot greens and bulbs for meat dishes. You can use it pretty much in anything that you cook and want to have some green in it
Another way to use shallot greens is to make your own special mayonnaise. Simply blend mayo with shallot greens and a bit of fresh rosemary and black pepper and you’ve got mayo that can go with anything. Add a little bit of lemon juice and the flavor will be really fresh.
Keep in mind that shallot greens are greens – they don’t take well to being fried, so if you’re adding the greens in a stir fry only add them towards the end. Try to keep yourself from actively frying them as you’ll only make them turn bitter.
When to pick shallot greens
If you’re the happy owner of a small garden and happen to have shallots planted, you may want to know when to pick them.
Shallot bulbs take about 90 days to fully mature, while greens are available for picking after just 30 days. The greens can be picked until a few weeks before the harvesting of the shallot bulbs.
By the time bulbs are ready for harvesting, the leaves become droopy and brown. This is the time the bulbs start protruding from the ground and its first papery skin is visible. This is around mid-summer.
Read Also:Why Do Onions Turn Blue ?
Difference between onions and shallots
Shallots are different from onions in size, shallots are smaller. Shallots taste milder than the onion, even shallot smell is milder and you won’t overpower your perfume or deodorant.
You may easily confuse shallots with red onions. While they look incredibly similar, there are some differences.
First, onions are almost always round while shallots are absolutely always elongated, much more than onions.
Second, red onions develop a dark purple outside while shallots develop a brownish outside. The skins are a little different and you can definitely tell them apart if faced with both.
In any case, whichever one you end up using both onions and shallots will offer similar results in cooking and even in their raw form.