One of the essential aspects of home gardening is food storage and preservation. Harvesting, drying, and preserving popular garden crops is essential in any kitchen. However, after the harvesting season is finished, one of the most pressing concerns is how to preserve veggies for the following season.
Shallots are one of the most exquisite veggies on earth. They are not only comparable in taste with onions, but they are also great substitutes for one another. Shallots, however, are more expensive than conventional onions and need to be purchased in bulk, leaving us with the challenge of how to keep them fresh for a long time.
Shallots can be kept for a long time after being purchased or harvested. There are multiple methods for doing so, they are–
- Storing in Paperbag Storage
- Hanging in a Mesh Bag
- Hanging in a Basket
- Storing in Mason Jar Storage
- Freezing it
- Dehydrating it
- Creating pickles
- Making Marmalade
- Using Jute Bag
- Making Braids
Here are some of the best methods for preserving shallots, depending on how long you want to keep them. So, without further ado, let’s get started discussing some most effective ways to preserve shallots at home!
Since shallots are used in various dishes, many gardeners prefer to grow them in their yards. And it is pretty easy to grow and harvest these veggies.
Harvesting shallots is best done in the late summer, around August and September. Then, when you notice the leaves beginning to wilt and dry out, you know it’s time to dig these veggies out.
Note: Harvesting times will vary based on the hardiness zone you live in.
Keeping a close check on your shallot plants during the late summer months is a good way to tell when they’re ready to harvest. Once they’re ready, all you have to do is dig up the bulbs with a garden shovel. But, to avoid a damaged bulb, be cautious and persistent in your work.
Cure the shallots after being dug up before continuing with the preservation methods.
Note: A shallot plant is divided into the top and the bulb. You’ll need to harvest the tops of your shallots if you want to consume them. The bulbs can be collected and stored for planting or canning in the future.
Can I Freeze Shallots?
One of the most common queries we have is whether we can simply bag the shallots and store them in a refrigerator corner.
The answer to this question is YES. Shallots can be frozen for later use. There are, however, a couple of options. To begin, peel and dice or chop your veggies. After that, you should place them in a freezer-safe bag and remove any excess air. Finally, close the bag and store it in the freezer to keep it fresh.
Shallots can be frozen for up to two-three months. That being stated, keep the temperature of your refrigerator at roughly 4 degrees Celsius and the temperature of your freezer at -18 degrees Celsius.
Note: Once defrosted, the frozen shallots should be utilized in cooking. Raw consumption is not recommended.
How to Preserve Shallots?
The answer to the initial question is contingent on your choice. You can preserve shallots in various ways, and the method you pick is entirely up to you.
However, we’ve formulated a list of the best ways to preserve shallots for your convenience. You have the option of using any of the ways we’ve given. And believe us when we say that all of these are extremely convenient and will cost you nothing.
1. Paperbag Storage
Storing shallots in large brown paper bags is one of the most common methods of preserving them.
One of the main goals of storing this vegetable in brown paper bags is to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Brown paper bags are comprised of a particular substance that preserves any food completely fresh for a long time.
Punch a few holes around each edge of the bag before putting your vegetable in. If you are storing extra bags of shallots for a longer period, don’t forget to level the bags with the date. Also, remember to fill the bag only halfway with shallots to allow air movement.
2. Hang in a Mesh Bag
If you buy shallots at a store, you’ll most likely find them in mesh bags. You may also use those bags to store them. The shallots are kept together in a cluster with the help of mesh sacks. You can put the bag on a hook on the wall or at the rear of your kitchen door, wherever you find it convenient to reach out. Your veggie will stay fresh for a long period thanks to the air circulation.
Note: If your shallots sprout, you can just remove the sprouts and use the shallots in cooking.
3. Hanging Basket
Shallots can be kept in a hanging basket as well. It’s another simple approach to keeping shallots dry and fresh for a long time. Please make sure the hanging basket doesn’t have a lot of bigger holes in it. Bags constructed of crochet can be used in this situation. Hang your vegetable at a convenient height so that you can reach out whenever you need it.
4. Mason Jar Storage
If you want to keep shallots for a few days, put them in a large mason jar and place them on your kitchen shelf. It’s a simple way to keep this vegetable fresh and utilize it in everyday cooking.
5. Throw in Your Fridge
We’ve already discussed how to freeze shallots for a longer period in the refrigerator. On the other hand, refrigeration can be done for a few days or weeks as well. Simply place the shallots in your veggie box and place them in the refrigerator in this case. This procedure will keep your shallots fresh and crisp for direct usage.
Shallots can also be preserved by dehydrating them. Use a vacuum mylar bag or a mason jar to use this procedure. This method entails removing all moisture from the shallots and enclosing them in a bag with no oxygen.
- To make sure you’re dehydrating your vegetable properly, follow the steps below.
- Begin by rinsing the shallots.
- Remove the bulb, roots, and any leaves that are damaged.
- Each shallot should be sliced.
- Place the slices on an oven-safe metal surface.
- Dehydrate for 7-8 hours at 125°F.
- In a mylar bag or mason jar, store the dehydrated shallot slices
Note: Before storing them in the jar/ bag, clean and fully dehydrate the shallot slices.
Making pickles with shallots is one of the best and most traditional ways to preserve them. It’s also a low-cost method of prolonging the life of your vegetable. Submerging the shallots in a solution that inhibits the growth of bacteria that could ruin them is called pickling.
Start by washing and peeling the shallots before you pickle them. After that, place peeled onions in a ceramic or earthenware jar with vinegar and a seasoning mix (salt, sugar, and spices). Pickling shallots can help you preserve them in good shape for up to 6 months.
8. Make Marmalade
If you have a flavorful tongue, shallot marmalade is a must-try. Yes, you read that correctly. Shallots can be used to make wonderful marmalade.
- To make the savory shallot marmalade, follow the instructions outlined below.
- Place a medium-sized, heavily loaded pan over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and salt, and cook for about 10 minutes, often turning, until the shallots are pale and transparent pink.
- Pour in the sugar, vinegar, beer, and honey until the shallots are caramelized, stirring often.
- When the shallots are well caramelized, the marmalade is ready.
- Allow cooling before transferring the marmalade into a jar and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Note: While cooking the shallots, keep them on string frequently to avoid burning them.
9. Use a Jute Bag
Keeping shallots in a jute bag is another low-cost and environmentally responsible way to keep them fresh.
You may store all vegetables in eco-friendly jute bags or sacks, not just shallots. These bags are long-lasting, incredibly durable, and have a low carbon footprint. Another advantage of storing shallots in jute bags is that they can be stored in quantity. The jute bags can be kept in your kitchen, in storerooms, behind the door, or in the corner of your kitchen shelf. Jute bags are the most environmentally friendly solution as long as they are available.
If you keep your jute bags in a dry, dark place, your shallots will stay in good health for months.
10. Make Braids
Have you ever seen people’s kitchens with braided shallots hanging from the ceiling? Have you ever thought about it? If you haven’t done so already, you should because it’s a means of preserving this vegetable.
Shallots are traditionally stored in dry braids. It’s a way of braiding shallot roots and storing them in the cellar or a dark spot. You may easily ensure their freshness for a long period this way. In addition, braiding allows for improved air circulation, which retains the freshness for a longer period.
Shallots can be kept in an airtight container for a long time. On the other hand, whole shallots should never be stored in an airtight jar. Before keeping them, slice or mince them instead. Airtight pouches can also be used instead of airtight jars and containers.
It is best to harvest shallots in August and September during the late summer months. However, this time may vary depending on the zone you live in.
The shelf life of chopped shallots is determined by how they are stored.
However, the easiest approach to keep chopped shallots fresh is to keep them refrigerated. When stored properly, fresh shallots can last up to ten days. If you dry the shallot slices before storing them in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, their shelf life can be extended to 9 months.
Shallot slices can be dehydrated or frozen to extend their freshness even further.
Yes, you must peel shallots before proceeding to preserve them. You can use your fingers to peel the shallots or boil them for easy skin removal.
There is a lot you can do with extra shallots. You can refer to the above methods to preserve them for a long and short period. You can also follow any of the following steps to deal with extra shallots.
• Make a special dish using them
• Use them in different recipes
• Give them away to friends and family
• Make vinaigrette
• Make musir
• Make tomato ketchup using them
• Make beresta
• Use on savory dishes
So now you know that preserving shallots isn’t difficult. Depending on your needs, you can preserve this vegetable using any of the ways listed above. Buying shallots in quantity and storing them for a longer period without losing their freshness is no longer a hassle. However, this isn’t the end of the post; here are some frequently asked questions that will help you learn more about the subject.