It’s Better On Top
For those of you who thought ‘It’s Better On Top’ was a sexual reference, we love the way you think! Full props to you and your delightfully dirty minds!
Let’s talk about the star attraction of this appetizer, sweet, slow-cooked onions.
Did you know that in ancient Egypt, onions were highly prized and even worshipped, because of the prevailing belief that an onion’s spherical shape and concentric rings represented eternity?
Back then, this cherished bulb was featured in religious ceremonies, was an essential part of the mummification process, and was thought to have magical powers of bringing the dead back to life. Holy sh*t, that’s a lot of pressure for a vegetable!
Onions are the delicious headliner in this party appetizer… In fact, onions are great in almost any savory dish, but this one proves that they really are better on top!
A few notes about properly caramelizing onions–
Onions and fonds and deglazing….oh my!
Properly caramelizing onions is a process that requires time and patience, but you will never regret mastering the technique. These flavorful strips of deliciousness are an unbeatable addition to burgers, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, dips, soups….the possibilities are endless.
De-glazing the pan is also key, because it adds to the depth of flavor, and because a good fond is a terrible thing to waste!
(See fond and deglazing definitions in the recipe notes.) The caramelization process can take 45-60 minutes, so patience is definitely required–but the end result is worth it!
Crostini appetizer with Goat Cheese, Red pepper Jam and Carmelized Onions
It's Better On Top
- Baking sheet
- 1 Italian 5-Grain Baguette
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Large Sweet Onions Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 6 Ounces Alouette garlic and herb soft cheese
- 6 Ounces Goat Cheese Room Temperature
- 4 Ounces Red Pepper Jelly
- ½ Cup Capers Drained
- Water or White Wine For Deglazing Optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut baguette into ⅜" slices and place on a baking sheet.
- Brush the top sides evenly with olive oil.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
- Cut the stem and root ends off the onions.
- Cut the onions in half from stem to root, peel off papery layers
- With the flat side down, slice the onions stem to root again, into ⅛" thickness.
- Using an extra-large, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter plus one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
- Once hot, add onions, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir.
- Continue cooking and stirring until the onions soften and brown, and fond forms on the bottom of the pan.
- Add a small amount of white wine or warm water to the pan, scraping to release the fond.
- Continue until the onions are a deep brown, repeating the deglazing process as necessary.
- Remove from heat.
- Store onions in an airtight container in the fridge and warm slightly before serving.
Assemble as follows to create two flavor variations:
- Start with a toasted baguette, and spread with a generous dollop of goat cheese. Top with a mound of warm caramelized onions and a sprinkle of capers.
- Start with a toasted baguette, and spread with a dollop of garlic and herb soft cheese. Top with warm caramelized onions and a spoonful of red pepper jelly.
You can prepare the caramelized onions a day or two ahead of time
Toasts can also be prepared ahead of time
Don’t overdo the butter or oil with the onions. It can make your onions greasy/mushy.