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Oct 31, 2006 02:42 PM

shallots in a recipe question

Serving a lovely salad tonight from the recent Fine Cooking (greens, pear, roasted butternut squash, pecans...).
There are shallots in the dressing and the recipe calls for you to soak the shallots in hot water before adding to the salad.
Why is this?

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  1. to make the flavor a little more mild. you don't have to do it.

    1. I love Fine Cooking. Although I have never found shallots too strong I would just follow the recipe. I trust their recipes.

      1. Some shallots can be super strong! I made a dish with a bunch of them recently, and just peeling and slicing them in half had me running into the other room. Soaking would have been good for potent shallots that aren't going to be cooked otherwise (mine were slow roasted, so in the end it didn't matter.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

          Exactly. Soaking cuts the onion-like bite. Salads that include diced red onion often call for the same thing. If they're already mild, there's no reason to soak them.

          I use cold water, works fine.

        2. I'd not soak them but give it a quick rinse. It'd take out some of the strong bite, but still maintain 'shallotness'.

          1. I have made this recipe twice and loved it. I did soak the shallots both times and I think I would do it again; making their flavor a little milder means they don't overpower the roasted squash and pears.