Milder in pungency than the common onion, shallots have a distinct flavor. Used raw in salads, cooked in sauces, ground into curries or caramelized as a condiment, they are a delight in the kitchen and easy to grow. Shallots with some acrid raw flavor tend to have more complex flavor when sautéd, while those that are mild and sweeter excel in salads and other raw preparations. While many shallots are similar in appearance, diversity is quite apparent in plant morphology. Shallots can be spring planted and this might reduce its bolting habit, though it may also compromise its yield as well. A percentage of shallots will bolt, particularly when stressed by cold. Scapes of bolting plants should be cut to direct the plants energy into bulbing. These are splendid and used like green onions. Shallot yields vary widely per variety and season. Large bulbs will produce a greater number of small shallots; small bulbs will produce fewer larger shallots. Shallots need a bit more space than does garlic. You can use the same row width giving them a few more inches between shallots bulbs or in raised beds on 9” centers. It is harvested when the tops have dried down and cure as you would garlic.
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