Shallots Are Your Go-To Ingredient To Upgrade Salad Dressings

Whether you're a fan of ranch or a vinaigrette, shallots will be your new secret weapon to upgrade any salad dressing with elegant subtlety. They are flavorful and aromatic without overpowering a sauce, which is more likely to happen with highly pungent onions or garlic. Plus, they're easy to find at farmers markets and grocery stores, and their small size also makes them convenient for use in salad dressings.

Technically a type of onion, shallots share taste, texture, and shape characteristics with other aromatic members of the same genus. Its purple and white tinted layers look like a red onion, its size and clustered growth mimic cloves of garlic, and its mild sweetness is comparable to a leek. Their use as a raw ingredient is ubiquitous; you'll find it pickled with vinegar, blended with yogurt, and thrown into fresh salads, added to pastas, sauces, and more . And shallots have long since established a place in dressings and sauces in the Old World, so you have proof of their success and versatility with various cuisines and recipes. 

How to add shallots to your salad dressing

Shallots can be complementary ingredients in a recipe or they can be the focal point of a dressing. A simple search reveals countless shallot vinaigrettes and creamy shallot dressings. A fundamental requirement for shallots to work with salad dressing is the presence of fat and acid. Considering most dressings are a blend of oil or cream and vinegar or citric acid, you shouldn't have a problem adding them to the dressing of your choice. You can add them to a creamy ranch in conjunction with fresh chives. Sherry and white or red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil are popular pairings for shallots in vinaigrettes.

You can add finely minced shallots to salad dressing recipes for optimal distribution. They also work well thinly sliced and soaked in vinegar for a mellow crunch akin to pickled onions. No matter how you chop them, shallots will add a layer of complexity that will not only upgrade the dressing but your salad as a whole.