In the group of alliums, sometimes called multiplier or potato onions, fresh shallots are food royalty, favored in cooking for their mild taste that goes well in almost any recipe, whether it be in sauteed vegetables, soups and stews, or a sauce for a chicken or beef dish. Raw shallots are a sweet addition to a fresh salad. Shallots produce blue and green foliage and clusters of rounded to teardrop-shaped bulbs that have a sweet garlic or onion flavor, depending on variety. The papery skins that wrap the bulbs vary from coppery yellow to red-brown to purplish red.
Like onions and garlic, shallots are reasonably easy to grow from sets, small bulbs that have been grown from seed and sold for shallot culture. In fall, after the first frost but before consistently cold weather arrives, plant shallots in a sunny garden spot in deep, loose, well-drained soil that has been amended with material from your compost pile. Shallots grow well next to such vegetable plants as lettuce, leeks, cucumbers, peppers, celery, onions, garlic or tomatoes. They do NOT grow well next to vegetable plants such as beans, peas, or sage. Follow this simple guide to starting your own fall planted shallots to harvest for next season.
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