Ever confused a shallot for a red onion? I have. I thought they were the same thing for a while. Shallots are the onion's milder, slightly peppery cousin. Its flavor doesn't punch you in the face, it subtly mingles with the flavors of whatever you add it to.
Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be an ode to the perfectly understated flavor of the shallot, it's a guide to dicing a shallot. Shall we begin?
chop the shallot in half lengthwise, through the root
chop off the end opposite the root, this is usually the thinner, pointier end
after you take a second to marvel at my ability to do this with one hand, peel off the outer skin
cut thin vertical strips, close to the root, but not through the root
you did it! now throw these into something delicious!