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White Pearl onions are small in size, are globular in shape with slightly pointed ends. The flesh is firm, juicy, and crisp. White Pearl onions are tiny, sweet, crunchy and mild developing a savory, sweet, and slightly less pungent flavor than full-sized onions when cooked.
White Pearl onions can be prepared in a variety of ways. These very small onions are valued for their sweet, delicate flavor and are usually served as an accompaniment. Pearl onions can be creamed, roasted, or glazed (Italians use balsamic vinegar; Middle Easterners apply tamarind). Pickled pearl onions make a great garnish to the classic martini. They can be braised, glazed, roasted, steamed, sautéed, stewed and gratins – all of which make a holiday table feel extra complete.
The small bulbs are most commonly used whole, and the skins can be peeled by boiling for two minutes, dropping in ice water, cutting off the ends, and then pinching the flesh out from under the skin. White Pearl onions can be incorporated into stews, gratins, casseroles, and braises, used to flavor soups and stocks, glazed and served alone, or added to roasted meats and vegetables as a hearty side dish. When pickled, White Pearl onions can be added to salads, garnished on cocktails, or served on appetizer plates. They can also be skewered with meat and vegetables and grilled for a smoky, caramelized finish. White Pearl onions pair well with parsley, basil, Dijon mustard, potatoes, green beans, peas, beets, turnips, tomatoes, paprika, red wine, light bodied vinegars, meats such as pork, poultry, turkey, veal, steak, and white fish, goat, cheddar, and aged sheep’s cheese, and cream-based sauces such as béchamel.