Edible Bozeman

Shallots, Kumquats, and Crimson Lentils


Sweeter and milder than onions, shallots are great to use in stews of all kinds, from vegetarian to beef bourguignon. They’re also great finely minced and added to vinaigrettes and classic sauces like beurre blanc, which is out of this world with fish.

The team at Chance Farm harvested their crop of extra-large shallots this fall, heaping them—greens and all—atop several tables protected from the elements by their greenhouse. The curing stage dries the outer layers, as also happens with onions and garlic; this is what helps the alliums store well through winter and is what will keep Chance Farm’s shallots available at the Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market until they run out.

When using shallots in recipes, keep in mind the size of your shallot and adjust amounts accordingly. The recipe writer may indicate a measured amount like ¼ cup minced shallot, which is about the yield of one average grocery-store shallot.

Since local shallots can grow as big as a baseball, consider them equivalent to about four punier grocery-store shallots.


Timeless Natural Food’s petite crimson lentils cook quickly, so when you set them simmering in water with a pinch of salt, fork out a nibble to check their texture at 5 minutes. At this point, they may be just tender—like al dente pasta—which is the ideal texture for adding to a salad. If you want them softer, just keep cooking. Red lentils like these are fantastic for making the dals of Indian cuisine because of the creamy texture they achieve with longer cooking.

Lentils are a pantry superhero for their long shelf life and their ability to make a meal with little more than an onion and some spices. They are also an agricultural superhero for the nitrogen they fix in the soil. If you haven’t yet read Liz Carlisle’s Lentil Underground, you might want to add it to your book stack for winter. It tells the story of David Oien of Timeless Food and how he dared to take a stand against agribusiness by planting what others considered weeds.


Winter means citrus fruits in places warmer than Montana but thanks to our local retailers, we can still enjoy these sweet-tart delights. Eat kumquats skin and all, taking little bites and bracing for the flavor sensation.

Kumquats pair well with chicories, toasted nuts and seeds, and cheeses like Parmesan and ricotta salata. You can also make them into a sweet condiment for a cheese board or to top a festive dessert like panna cotta or cheesecake.

Candied Kumquats

Related Posts