Pearl onions are simply onions whose growth has been stunted in the field. Delicious cooked peeled but whole in stews and casseroles, they may be white, red, or tan. Frozen pearl onions are a good option, too, eliminating the tedious peeling these little onions require.
Substitute coarsely chopped regular onion.
Buy firm bulbs with no soft spots, bruises, or other signs of damage. The necks should be tightly closed.
The easiest way to peel just the pearl onion's outer skin is by blanching in boiling water. To do this, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and fill a medium bowl with ice water. Trim both ends of each onion and put them in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then transfer the onions to the ice water to stop the cooking. Once they?re cool, use a paring knife to slip off the skins.
Keep in a cool, dry, well-ventilated spot.