Banana shallots (echalion) are a cross between an onion and a shallot, and are larger than other shallots. The skin is smooth, tanned coloured and easier to peel than other shallots, making them swifter to prepare than smaller shallots.
Banana shallots are high in vitamin C, contain fibre, & smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, copper, iron, and vitamin A.
Banana Shallots can be used raw and cooked for roasting, frying, stewing, and braising. Raw the cloves can be finely chopped and added to salads or blended into oil-based dressings. Banana shallots can also be cooked and caramelized to add sweet flavors to soups, curries, and stews, minced and cooked into sauces. The shallots keep up to two months when stored whole and uncut in a cool, dry, and dark place and are ideal for pickling too.
How to grow:
These Banana Onion/Shallots are supplied as ‘onion sets’. Onion sets are part grown onions that are then planted in late winter and early spring to produce onions or in this case shallots without the need to sow seeds.
Onions grow best in sunny spots.
Dig plenty of organic material into your plot before planting. Use compost from you compost heap/bin, bought soil improving compost or well rotted farmyard manure. A dressing of a general fertiliser before plating is also recommended. Use ‘Blood, Fish & Bone’ fertiliser, Growmore or other balanced plant foods.
Plant sets in rows 25cm (10in) apart & with rows 40cm (16in) apart from mid-November to mid-March. Push them into the soil so that the tips are showing and cover with a garden fleece to prevent birds from pulling them out of your soil.
Keep weed free and water during dry periods. April can be very dry as can June & July.
Shallots are usually ready to lift and dry in August & September depending upon your garden & soil. They are ready when the tops have collapse and folded flat.