If you're like us, you look to the seasons for what to cook. Get to the market, and we'll show you what to do with your haul.
Today: Your shallots want to be heroic -- this is how to let them.
I bet you have shallots in your kitchen right now. They are your right hand man: they're the thrumming foundation of a proper vinaigrette, an early step to your risottos, the start to nearly anything good.
But they're not an unsung hero. To be one, they'd have to be heroic.
In side after side and main after main, shallots don't save the day. They're buried under flashier ingredients, taken for granted; more burly, unwavering constant than raw, undiscovered talent. Under rice, or layers of olive oil, shallots are never waiting to emerge. They aren't about to blow up the scene.
That is, until you let them be their own dish.
Here is how to do it: you crisp them in olive oil and brown sugar, and smother them in thyme and balsamic vinegar. Give them a good swig of sherry, because they, like you, could benefit from a nip around the holidays. You roast them in a hot oven until they're thoroughly slouched.
Once you do those things, you'll have shallots with real courage. Slicked in sweet balsamic, they'll save anything -- dinner, your sandwich, that great pile of pasta you just cooked. They can, and will, save your first course, just as soon as you serve them underneath a fat buddha ball of burrata.
Eat them, bite for bite, with your majestic holiday roast, or put them in your detox kale salad next year. Just don't, whatever you do, quiet them with a circus of ingredients. Let your shallots stand alone. Let them be heroic.
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
A three-finger pinch of salt
1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped, plus a few whole sprigs
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Photos by Eric Moran