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Thread: Onions vs. Shallots vs. Leeks

  1. #1
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    Question Onions vs. Shallots vs. Leeks

    If a recipe calls for shallots can I sub onions?
    If a recipe calls for leeks is green onions or reg onions a better sub?

    I rarely buy shallots, since they are so much more costly than onions and leeks are just a PAIN to thoroughly clean. Terri

  2. #2
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    For shallots, I think onion is a find sub, though I tend to think red onion might be preferable.

    For leeks I normally sub onion, but like to add a little green onion if I have it around. Weirdly enough, Cook's Thesaurus lists asparagus as a leek substitution. I can't imagine how that would work???
    I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows. -Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
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    I occasionally buy shallots but usually sub onions. I simply can't taste any difference. I have grown shallots so ate alot of them, and they are fine. to me they taste like a mild onion with a bit of garlic flavor. to sub usually use a mild onion and maybe a small clove of garlic.

    If I were making "Leek soup" I would probably seek out & use leeks but they aren't terribly available & can be are a huge pain to clean. again if I were subbing I would use a mild sweeter onion.
    I'm not known for a sensitive palate . DH is much more sensitive & I have tested on him & he thinks they are very similar also.

  4. #4
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    I have also subbed onions for shallots but find that there is really no sub for leeks (green onions tend to be too strong). I guess I really love the taste of leeks and would rather make something else than sub. I don't find them too bad to clean.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  5. #5
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    thanks, terri

  6. #6
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Hi, Terri:

    Thanks for asking the question. I was wondering the same thing. I have a couple of soup recipes that call for leeks and I use 1/2 leeks and 1/2 sweet onions-- I really like the dimension and smoothness the combination gives.

    Thanks, too, Valerie for the garlic tip.

    Kathy
    In all my travels, I have discovered that it is not seeing, but EATING, that is believing.
    -- Duncan Hines

  7. #7
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    Great topic. I use leeks instead of onions in soups a lot because it gives them such a dynamic flavor. Particularly in chicken soup. I have used onions instead of shallots, but I think shallots AND leeks give dishes a more complex onion flavor.

  8. #8
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    Re: Onions vs. Shallots vs. Leeks

    Originally posted by tigermorris
    and leeks are just a PAIN to thoroughly clean. Terri
    Terri -

    Here's a tip I've picked up from an old magazine somewhere (probably CL): slice off the root and the dark green parts. Now slice in half vertically. Run under cold running water, opening up the layers as you rinse. This method has always been very quick and easy for me.

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