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Mildly aromatic herbaceous plant (Allium cepa L., var. aggregatum, and A. oschaninii) of the family Alliaceae, probably of Asiatic origin, used to flavour foods. Closely related to the onion and garlic, the shallot is a hardy perennial with short, small, cylindrical, and hollow leaves; lavender to red flowers in a compact umbel; and small, elongated, angular bulbs. Much like garlic, the bulbs develop in clusters on a common base. The leaves are sometimes eaten when green. The so-called shallot marketed extensively as green spring onions is in fact a form of onion.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on shallot, visit Britannica.com.