Dear Lisa: When a recipe calls for shallots, is that the same thing as green onions? And do I use both the white and green part? Thank you. Kendra R.
Dear Kendra: It's a common confusion, but shallots and green onions are not the same. Green onions are also known as scallions, and the alliteration between the words scallion and shallot probably helps contribute to the mix-up.
Shallots are shaped like small onions with one flat side and a papery bronze skin. When peeled, shallots separate into cloves similar to garlic. They have a mild, yet rich and complex flavor and are used in the foundation of many sauces.
Scallions, or green onions, are young onions with their bright, long green leaves attached. They can be eaten raw, or used in stir fries or as a garnish. You can use both the green and white part in most dishes.
While we're at it, green onions and chives are not the same thing, either.
Chives are an herb with delicate, hollow and thin green stems. They are a relative in the onion family, but are mainly used as a garnish since they usually are used raw.
Lisa Fritz, a longtime Bryan food and nutrition educator, answers readers' questions about food, cooking and recipes. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.