Let’s take a moment to remember shallots, the unsung hero of so many of our favorite dishes. Less assertive than onions with a mild garlic flavor, shallots add a hint of sweetness and can step in as a substitute in most onion recipes. While mild enough to eat raw, they’re also delicious cooked, playing especially well with delicate flavors or dishes with big kicks of spice.
Shallots are great for perking up green beans: for a reliably tasty side, quick-pickle shallots and sauté them with green beans. Or make a salad with blanched long beans, tofu, and an umami-rich soy sauce dressing and top with crispy fried shallots. Pairing various members of the allium family is a great way to get a balanced onion flavor instead of the pungency that using only yellow onions give. Six-onion pizza is topped with a white onion puree—a compote made with leeks, red onions, and shallots, and raw scallions and chives. Use shallots in other dips and sauces to give them something between garlic and onion without overpowering the nose. Shallots are used extensively in Asian recipes: our smoky Laotian tomato dip uses charred shallots, tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and bell pepper. A caramelized shallot cream sauce is a perfect accompaniment to our venison loins with stewed quince. From onion dip to potato salad, here are our favorite shallot recipes.