Shallots are a delicious onion relative with a mild flavor that is a favorite among the gourmet set. It is a must have in the pantry that pairs well with chicken and brings the flavors of many herbs to life. They are as easy to grow as onions and garlic, and just as easy to maintain and replant in your sustainable urban garden next year as the small bulbs make perfect sets when cured and stored properly.
Not surprisingly, harvesting shallots is as simple as harvesting onions or garlic. You will know it is time to harvest your shallots when the leaves begin to yellow and die back. Depending on the variety, shallots are ready to harvest in 90 – 120 days. It is best to harvest shallots by hand so you don’t damage the fragile bulbs.
To prepare the shallots for storage, you must cure them just as you do with onions and garlic. To cure shallots, hang the bulbs in a shaded area with good consistent air flow. Once the shallot bulbs have dried they can be stored in a mesh bag just as the type you might purchase onions or potatoes in at the supermarket.
When storing shallots, you should keep them in a cool, dark place with low humidity. Moisture and warmth will keep the shallots from going dormant, or will bring them out of dormancy. Store shallots loosely and don’t stack them together tightly. Plenty of air flow will keep storage-borne disease at bay.