I just harvested my Shallots. About a two weeks ago I flopped over the tops to begin the drying out process. Last week I dug them and left them on the surface of the soil and now it’s time to prepare them for storage. I usually put them in a woven basket and store them in a cool, dark place. But this year I thought I would have a go at braiding them into plaits.
They look very decorative when prepared like this. You can hang them from the top and the air circulates around each Onion making it less likely to rot in storage.
Braiding them is actually pretty easy if you know how to braid hair into a plait. However, I’ve found that it’s best to braid the onion leaves while they are still a little malleable and just before they are bone-dry. If they are too dry they simply crumble and are not workable.
1. Choose three large Onions to start the braid with. The leaf part should be nice and long.
2. Place them next to each other in a line and hold each leaf section separately – you should have three.
3. Bring the right-hand section over the central section.
4. Bring the left-hand section over the new central section.
5. Add another Onion and blend its leaves with the new central section.
6. Repeat from step three.
7. When your braid has around 10 – 15 Onions on it (depending on size) start to braid the sections without adding any new Onions
8. Finish up by tying a knot at the top with the sections remaining.
Hang your Onion braid in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.