I used to despise onions. If they so much as touched my food, I couldn’t eat it. My father used to trick me as a child to eat spicy things. At age three I distinctly remember putting a large chunk of white onion in my mouth after my dad told me it was sweet like candy. I believe that’s where my onion hatred began.
Later in life, I was faced with a similar situation. A friend of mine made caramelized onions and was adamant that I tried them. This friend described them as being sweet and suddenly I am back at the dinner table of my youth eating that horrible white onion that was described to me as being sweet. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
I refused to eat them so my friend sneaked the caramelized onions into my sandwich when I wasn’t looking. This sandwich was incredible and I was completely shocked to learn that the sweet and savoury flavour came from onions!
From that day I began to experiment with my once hated vegetable. I discovered I really loved green onions, and then it was red onions and now I am an onion fiend! (except on pizza, I really hate onions on pizza). Pearl onions are my absolute favourite. When I make coq au vin, I fish out as many pearl onions as I can. To me, it’s the best part of the classic French dish.
I couldn’t think of a better side dish for Thanksgiving than a bowl of glazed pearl onions. They are tangy and sweet while adding a nice pop of colour to a typically beige and brown meal. If only I was introduced to onions in this way, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me 15 years to change my mind.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a special Thanksgiving recipe roundup!
1 cup red pearl onions
1 Tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
This is the easiest way to peel pearl onions. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and add un-peeled pearl onions. Boil for one minute, strain and place onions in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Using a sharp knife, slice of the root end of the onions. Squeeze from the top, and your onion should slide right out.
Whisk together honey and red wine vinegar. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add peeled pearl onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they begin to brown.
Pour honey and vinegar mixture over onions and stir to evenly coat them. Bring heat to medium low and continue to sauté onions until the sauce reduced to a syrup.