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Roasted Echalion shallots recipe.

Eschallon shallots

Eschallon shallots

I bought some rather swanky British shallots from Tesco yesterday. Hoping that I could plant them to over winter on the allotment. The were Tesco Finest Echalion shallots – the ones preferred by top chefs and foodie the world over. They are sometimes called banana shallots as they are long rather than round.

The sets for slim, longer shallots are very expensive to buy compare to the round to the cottage. So I took a chance and bought 2 packs for 2 quid and chortled my way back home.

I brief search on the Internet told me that round shallots can be bought from a supermarket and planted but the long Echalion varieties just set seed. Oh no! The jubilation was punctured with a pin in an instant.

“Don’t worry.” Said Danny. “I’m going to try roasting these little beauties with the skin on.”

He roasted them at 190 fan in a thick foil parcel with some quail and other veg for an hour and then opened the parcel for 15 minutes. The result was amazing. Danny reckons that on their own they would take far les time but I do believe that the long slow cooking time produced these gems. We squeezed them out of their skins like toothpaste. Squisky, surprising and far sweeter than ordinary baked red or white onions. They were so tasty that we agreed that it would be well worth investing in the Echalion sets after all.

This variety is not Jermor and we are having problems locating the sets. We will go the seed route and test out a few but ideally we don’t wait too long for this simple delicacy. Can you help?

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  1. Michael MacMahon

    I love shallots too and have only just discovered this variety, after Nigella Lawson featured them in a recipe on her Nigelissima show.

    I like Danny’s idea of roasting them in a parcel. When you say “190 fan” I assumed at first you meant Celsius / Centigrade, as 190 Fahrenheit is off the bottom of the Regulo scale, i.e. below a quarter. But then you did say it was a slow roast, so maybe you did mean Fahrenheit.

    Please advise!

  2. Barrington shallots –

  3. Amalee Issa

    Fiona & Danny,

    No doubt you already do this, but in the spring and even over Chrimbo I like to buy supermarket “yellow sticker” packs of designer potatoes and throw them into the ground at Easter. This always makes me larf at the huge savings, and somehow makes the potatoes taste so great! Now if we could just encourage supermarkets to yellow sticker the Bombay Sapphire…


  4. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    I’m sorry your shallots didn’t work out as planned, but one great thing about messing around with food is that you can eat your mistakes. Those roasted shallots sound lovely.

  5. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    Shop-bought shallots, onions and many other vegetables are sprayed with a sprouting inhibitor so they’re not likely to grow at all. But do be careful when experimenting with growing things from the shop in general – there are tons of diseases that can be brought into your soil that way. Especially with things like potatoes…

  6. Shallot sets are expensive compared to onions but to my mind they are well worth the expense. I have grown several long (banana) varieties and try to grow both Autumn and winter planting ones each year. I think my favourite Autumn planted one is Grise and the spring planting is a close run between Pesandor and Longor.
    You could always try sowing the seeds instead of sets as that comes our vastly cheaper.
    Here™s a list of the suppliers I use and what is currently on offer. Most will not send your plants/sets etc until it is time for planting so you can order Spring planting shallot sets now from most of them.
    Hope this helps
    Eschalote Grise
    Zebrune (seeds)
    Shallot Bulbs: Jermor (Banana Shallot)
    Shallot Bulbs: Eschalote Grise (Banana Shallot)
    Also taking orders for:-
    Banana Shallot Zebrune-spring sowing
    “Vigamoor” (French Banana Shallot Onion) Sets x 10

  7. Thompson Mogan sell the variety ‘Pesandor’ for Spring planting.

  8. I think I got mine from Thomson Morgan, they were a smallish variety which suited me as I grew them in window boxes- they were excellent, got loads, eaten loads.I shall plant twice the number next year!

  9. You could also have a look at the Garlic Farm offering, although they don’t note a variety name:

  10. Hi Fiona,
    It seems you can order them from Crocus…..

    Good luck with them, they sound delicious

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