Roast shallots and rosemary

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    4–6

    as a side dish
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes

Vegetables

By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

These shallots are absolutely delicious. Sweet, juicy and slightly acidic in a pleasant way, they’re great served with roast meats, especially red meats, but they also go well with chunks of herb-roasted pumpkin and steamed tender-stem broccoli drizzled with pesto as a vegetarian main course. I use what are called banana shallots, because of their long shape. Round shallots will work just as well, but they take slightly less cooking, and baby red or white onions will also work, although they may take a little extra cooking. A ceramic or non-reactive metal baking dish, about 1–1.5 litres in capacity, is needed to cook these. A handy hint when baking something covered with foil in a fan oven: often the foil comes loose, so sit an upturned spoon or fork on the foil to anchor it in place.

Ingredients

  • 500 g shallots
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 strips of lemon zest
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Cut a piece of baking parchment the same size as the baking dish. Cut the stem end off the shallots, but not the root end. Peel the shallots, keeping the root bit intact (this helps them stay together as they cook). Brush half the oil over the bottom of the baking dish, then place the lemon zest, bay leaves and rosemary in it and sit the shallots on top. Season generously with salt and pepper, spoon the vinegar in, together with 2 tablespoons of water, then drizzle the remaining olive oil over the shallots and place the baking parchment on top.

Seal tightly with foil (the parchment between the vegetables and the foil will prevent it sticking to the top of the vegetables) and bake for 1½ hours (around 20 minutes less for smaller shallots). Take the foil and parchment off, baste the shallots, and cook for a further 15 minutes to colour them slightly. Eat while still hot, although they reheat well.