Shallots are a member of the onion family, with papery brown skin, purple-tinged white flesh, and a flavor resembling a cross between sweet onion and garlic. Look for firm, well-shaped heads that are not sprouting. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month. Shallots pickled in vinegar figure prominently in Asian recipes.
To peel and chop or mince shallots:
Peel the skin with a paring knife. Trim off a thin slice, then set the shallot, cut side down, on a work surface. Make horizontal cuts toward the root, leaving the root intact. Then cut crosswise into pieces of desired fineness.For other onion varieties, see boiling, green, Maui, pearl, red, Vidalia, Walla Walla, white, and yellow onions and leeks.