Peas & Bacon & Onions

This is the simple, effortless dish of peas everyone wants around the holidays. It takes all of twenty minutes to prepare, scales up very easily, and is just plain good. Yields 4 to 6 servings.


  • 4 strips bacon
  • 6 ounces frozen peeled pearl onions
  • 1 pound frozen peas
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Stack and slice the bacon into ¼-inch-wide strips; cold bacon is easiest to slice.
  2. In a cold, dry pan, render the fat from the bacon over medium heat until crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath with a colander in it. Set out a plate with paper towels.
  4. Blanche the pearl onions for just 60 seconds to thaw, then shock, then dry well on paper towels.
  5. Blanche the peas for 2 minutes until they turn bright green, then shock, then drain.
  6. Thinly slice the garlic.
  7. Once the bacon has rendered, drain on a paper towel, reserving 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan (or add additional oil to reach 2 tablespoons). Add the butter.
  8. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and softened, then add the pearl onions and sauté until the onions just start to color, 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Add the sugar and toss to coat. Add the peas, scraping the bottom if there's any fond in the pan. Add the bacon. Cook, tossing frequently, until the peas are hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.