Thanksgiving video tips: Peeling small onions, and a recipe for glazed onions

Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter shows an easy way to peel pearl onions.

Many people avoid using pearl and other small onions because of the daunting fact that the onions have to be peeled. Peeled like regular onions, a bowl of these could take an hour. But there's a simple way to peel these tasty little guys, and the method won't make you cry.

Here's how you do it:


Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. While water is heating up, cut off the ends of each onion.

Place onions in the boiling water and let boil for about a minute. Drain in colander.

Drain the onions, then submerge them in an ice water bath to make handling them easier.

Once onions are cool enough to handle, pinch one side of the onion and the delicious center will pop out, leaving behind the skin.

And there you have it! You can find a recipe using your peeled onions below. These braised cipollini with red wine glaze make a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

Craving more? Check out our handy holiday recipes and cooking tips page to help you out with your Thanksgiving planning. Not only do we cover familiar holiday dishes, we share tips and tricks to save you time and energy during this busy time of year. And you can find all your Thanksgiving recipe needs in our California Cookbook. If you have any tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at


Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

Note: From Noelle Carter. Use a Pinot Noir or a light red wine such as a Cotes du Rhone, Beaujolais or Chianti.

    1 1/2 pounds small to medium cipollini
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon oil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 to 2 cups red wine

1. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of water to boil. Blanch the cipollini for about 30 seconds in the boiling water, just enough to loosen the skins. Drain and shock in an ice bath, then drain again and dry. Trim the tops and remove the outer layer of skin. Set aside.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil and allow the butter to melt, swirling the fats so they coat the bottom of the pan. Add the cipollini in a single layer. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a couple of grinds of pepper, or to taste. Saute the cipollini just until the tops and bottoms are caramelized, about 2 minutes on each side.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and add just enough wine to cover the cipollini by about two-thirds. Return the pan to medium-high heat and bring the wine to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle but steady simmer and braise the cipollini until the wine is reduced to a glaze that will coat the back of a spoon, 25 to 35 minutes depending on the heat and pan. Take care during the last few minutes not to scorch. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Each serving: 129 calories; 1 gram protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 1 grams fiber; 4 grams fat; 1 grams saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 394 mg. sodium.

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