These are like little baby onions, sometimes bright purple-pink and sometimes creamy white.
Cooked slowly as a confit they make a lovely accompaniment to beef. In a medium pan, simmer 12 oz (350 g) of peeled whole shallots with 7 fl oz (200 ml) of red wine, 1 fl oz (25 ml) of red wine vinegar and seasoning. Keep the heat very low and cook, without a lid, for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, turning the shallots over halfway through. After this time, add half a teaspoon of sugar to give a lovely sticky glaze, and cook for another 5 minutes. Serves 4.
They are lovely pickled, or simmered whole in casseroles and braised dishes, and I love them chopped very finely in salads, such as Salade Niçoise.
This recipe sums up why we should support the small supplier: a wonderful baked salmon dish using fish from a smokery just down the road from Delia's house in Suffolk.
This dark, pungent curry paste makes a delightful alternative to dry, ground spices. I have included it in the recipes for Angel-hair Pasta with Thai Spiced Prawns and Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce
This recipe is dead simple, yet it draws out all the sweet, fragrant flavour of the shallots and at the same time gives them a glazed pink, jewel-like appearance. It makes an excellent accompaniment to beef, or you can add a bit of sophistication to
One Christmas tradition in our family is returning from midnight Mass to freshly baked, crisp sausage rolls and equally crisp pickled onions. I have now discovered that shallots with a little sherry vinegar make a different, rather special version.
A spicy Peruvian dish with a wonderful and unusual walnut sauce, made simple with the help of a top-class prepared potato ingredient. Colourful and light, it makes a great supper or lunch dish for vegetarians.
This potato salad, with creamy, piquant Roquefort and the added crunch of celery and shallots, is good to eat all by itself, but I also like to serve it with cold cuts at a buffet lunch. It's therefore a very good recipe to have around at Christmas.
This is a lovely salad for outdoor eating on a warm, sunny summer's day.
Because British domestic grills are so variable in their efficiency, I think a ridged grill pan is a very good investment. It's particularly good for thick tuna steaks and gives those lovely charred stripes that look so attractive.
This is a great way to serve celery as a vegetable. I used silicone paper (baking parchment) for this as it looks very pretty if you take the whole parcel to the table – otherwise foil would do. For 4 to 6 people, you can double the ingredients...
If you have some Thai Red Curry Paste to hand, these little fish cakes make a wonderfully different first course, especially if the rest of the meal has a spicy theme.