Thomas Keller Goes Vegan: Creamed Pearl Onions

February  1, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by Noelle Destries
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I left many things behind when I decided to go plant-based, except one thing. It was a recipe I saw scribbled on a napkin in Bon Appetit magazine. It was Thomas Keller's Creamed Pearl Onions. I knew I could "veganize" (it's not a word...but it should be) it, but wondered if it would be as rich, as sinful, as soul-crushingly smooth and buttery and utterly brilliant. And it is! Slather this on thick slices of warm crusty bread or serve it at your next dinner party as a side. Just try not to eat it all with a spoon before your guests arrive.

note: cashew cream needs to be prepared in advance. soak 2-cups of cashews overnight the day before. Then pulse in a blender so that the cashews are covered by about 1-ince of water, approximately 3-cups. Chill in refrigerator to thicken before use. —Noelle Destries

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups pearl onions
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar
  • .5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup cashew cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  1. Add pearl onions to pot of boiling water for a minute or two, drain, and then place in ice bath. Trim tips off onions, and then squeeze to pop off skins.
  2. In a medium saucepan, simmer onions, stock, salt, and sugar until liquid has evaporated and onions are tender.
  3. Add cream and cook until thickened. Garnish with chives and adjust seasoning.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Eileen Marcon
    Eileen Marcon
  • cathyeats
  • Kiley Dhatt
    Kiley Dhatt
  • Noelle Destries
    Noelle Destries

6 Reviews

Kiley D. November 26, 2020
This is just ridiculously good. It has become a staple of our Thanksgiving meal. Thank you for this wonderful, simple recipe.
Noelle D. November 26, 2020
Yay - I’m so glad. Cheers!
Eileen M. November 18, 2019
I’m going to try this for Thanksgiving, I am confused about preparing the cashews. Do I add water (enough to cover) to the cashews before I blend them or is there enough water that has been soaked up by the cashews?
Noelle D. November 18, 2019
Hi, so glad you’re trying, it’s ridiculously good! Sorry for confusion, found this recipe off food52 with more concise directions. Enjoy!

Soak the cashews in cold water overnight.
Drain cashews. Add them to a food processor and pulse a few times to grind them up.
With the motor running, drizzle in fresh water (start with 1 cup), stopping a few times to scrape the bowl of the food processor down. You can continue to add more water depending on how thick or thin you'd like the cream to be; for this recipe, think heavy cream.
Keep adding water until you like the consistency. Alternately, you can add the cashews and the water to a high speed blender and blend, adding water as needed, till you reach the desired consistency.
cathyeats November 19, 2018
Thanks for this, Noelle. Delicious recipe!
Noelle D. November 19, 2018
Oh yay! I’m so glad you liked it :)