Ingredient Page: Shallots (

Culinary Usage:

Shallots are one of the delicacies in our cuisine that are simple to grow. I have noticed in forums online that some people substitute onions or green onions for shallots in recipes simply because shallots often cost 10x more than onions by weight. But shallots are incredibly simple to grow, probably even easier than onions, so that's an absurd thought in my mind.

Shallots are milder and smaller than onions, and often the smaller shallots are even milder. This makes them good for salads, vinaigrette, etc. - anything that raw onions might be too strong for. It's also great for sauces and reductions that begin with a quick saute of the shallots.

Planting Time: OCT (in central Maryland)
Harvest Time: JUL (in central Maryland)

Spacing: 6"

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Gardening Tips:

Shallots grow just like garlic in many ways, as they're in the same family. Shallots are sowed in the fall, about 6" apart and 2-3" deep, pointy side up. I would suggest planting on the same day as garlic, and I plant them in the same bed. They should be mulched to withstand the winter, which I do with straw.

In the spring, when it's above freezing most nights, uncover the shallots. They'll grow somewhat like onions, somewhat like garlic - the greens looks just like onions, but following the greens to the ground, there are several bulbs in the ground for each one that was planted. This is why it's like garlic - it grows in cloves.

Harvest when the leaves are dying back (just like shallots or onions).

Save the best shallots from each year to plant the following year.

Fertilizer Notes:

I don't fertilize shallots much. What I have read is that some wood ashes will be fine. Wood ashes are about 0-1-3 as far as fertilizer goes (

Preservation Notes:

Store as you would onions or garlic - dry in a dry, cool area, and they'll keep a few months, but not as long as garlic. Shallots tend to rot much more quickly, and I find that even trying to keep them from July to October (picking time to planting time for the next year) is a chore.

Matt's Garden Notes:

Matt's 2013 Map

2012-13: Started shallots in OCT 2012, covered with straw soon thereafter. Uncovered late MAR 2013. Picked first mid-JUN 2013, definitely not fully mature yet. Harvesting done by mid -JUL. Some never got bigger than a single garlic clove, others were some of the larger shallots I've ever had.

Recipes using Shallots:

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Smoked trout dip

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