A member of the onion family, shallots are available year around. Choose dry-skinned, plump and firm shallots with no signs of sprouting. If you don't have shallots, you can use onions instead.
How to Blanch Fresh Vegetables
Add the vegetables to a large pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 min. or until crisp-tender. Drain, then immediately plunge the vegetables into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When completely cool, drain and pat dry.