What should you look for when buying shallots?
When shopping, avoid shallots packaged in cardboard and cellophane boxes, which prevent you from checking out each shallot. Instead, go for loose shallots or the ones packed in plastic netting. They should feel firm and heavy and have no soft spots. Since most of our recipes call for less than 3 tablespoons of minced shallots, in the test kitchen we use only medium shallots (which yield about 3 tablespoons minced) or small shallots (which yield 2 tablespoons or less). A medium shallot should be about 1½ to 2 inches wide.