Shallots have a relatively high level of pyruvic acid compared to other alliums, this gives them a piquant flavour when raw. When cooked however, this pyruvic acid is broken down by the heat which releases the inner sweetness of shallots and allows them to caramelise better thanks to their higher sugar content.

Patatas Bravas with Shallots, New Potatoes and Chorizo

A delicious combination of flavours and textures, smoky paprika, tender roasted shallots and new potatoes make this an easy, inexpensive crowd pleaser.

Serves: 4

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

You’ll need

20 shallots, peeled

750g new potatoes, washed and halved

100g chorizo, cut into chunky pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1-2 tsps smoked paprika

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped.

1 x 350g tub ready-made tomato and chilli sauce

Greek yoghurt, to serve

What to do

Pre heat oven 200c / 180c fan / Gas 6.

Place the shallots, new potatoes and chorizo onto a roasting tray or in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle over the olive oil, garlic and smoked paprika, toss until lightly coated.

Cook for approx 30 minutes turning at regular intervals, the shallots and potatoes should be cooked and lightly golden. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Heat the tomato and chilli sauce.

Serve, the yoghurt and sauce in bowls alongside the roasted shallots, potatoes and chorizo so you can dip in to them.

Spaghetti with Shallot, Red Pepper and Red Pesto Sauce

Perfect for an instant supper, warming and satisfying.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need

16 shallots, peeled and halved

2 large red peppers, cored, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

400g spaghetti

1 tub ready-made chilli and tomato red pesto or similar

handful of fresh torn basil, to serve

What to do

Place the shallots and peppers into a frying pan with the olive oil, cook over a gentle heat until softened and cooked.

Cook the spaghetti according to pack directions, drain and stir in the pesto sauce, shallots and pepper, season to taste.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with the basil.

Honey and Soy Glazed Roasted Shallots and Sausages

Sweet, savoury, sticky and totally irresistible, this quick to make supper dish is a great mid-week staple.

Serves: 4

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  30-40 minutes

You’ll need

8 good quality pork sausages

16 shallots, peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsps runny honey

3 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsps flaked almonds (optional)

200g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 bag of watercress for serving

What to do

Pre heat oven 200c /180c fan /gas 4. Place the sausages and shallots in a roasting tin, add the oil and turn until lightly coated.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, drain away any excess fat, turn the sausages and shallots, drizzle over the soy sauce and honey.

Continue to cook for another 10 minutes, turn the sausages and shallots in the sauce then sprinkle over the almonds and add the cherry tomatoes, cook for another 10 minutes, or slightly longer until the sauce is sticky and the almonds lightly golden.

Scatter with watercress and serve with creamy mashed potato.