You’ve eaten french onion soup, now try it in small-bite form.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 medium onions, white or yellow (the sweeter the better, try Vidalia) Julienned
- 1/4 cup canola oil, or your favorite high heat cooking oil
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp Soy sauce (I used Tamari, less salty tasting)
- 1 small loaf French Bread, or other rustic bread
- 4 oz Goat Cheese Crumbles
The first step is to caramelize the onions. Heat your cooking oil in a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Then add the julienned onions and cook for at least 20 minutes. The key to properly sauteeing onions is to stir often. If your pan starts to get a little dark on the bottom, GOOD. The crust on the bottom adds to the flavor. I am not giving anyone permission to burn their onions or their house down accidentally. Cook the onions while stirring often until most of your onions are very soft and brown.
While your onions are cooking, this could be a good time to slice your bread. The crostini part should be about 1/2 inch thick. Too thick and all you eat is bread. But too thin and your toppings just ooze through and its a mess. Toast your bread lightly in the toaster, I used a toaster oven.
While you’re still stirring those onions around, heat your goat cheese up in the microwave for 15 seconds. If you warm it slightly, the cheese will spread like butter. Spread that smooth butter-esque cheese on your toasty bread.
By this time I hope your onions are making your home smell fantastically caramelized. Time to remove that stuck on goodness at the bottom of your pan. Add the dijon mustard and soy sauce. Stir and let the mixture come to a simmer. Scrape the bottom of the pan and don’t miss a bit of flavor. Add your sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves. Remove onion topping from the heat. It should be soft and saucy, not liquidy.
Place a layer of onions (about 2 tablespoons depending on how big your bread is) on each slice of bread. Place them in a 350 F oven (or in my case, toaster oven again) for 8 minutes. This will allow everything to come together and toast your bread a bit more.
Enjoy your crostini creation. There is a classic dish I see all the time. Its essentially this but in tart form. Making it on a piece of toast makes more sense to me. Large crostinis for part of a dinner meal and serve it with a salad. Or make smaller versions and take them to a party and watch everyone’s faces light up. And be prepared for them to ask for the recipe.
The real inspiration for this came from a habit I picked up at work years ago. If we had French Onion Soup on the menu we would make a ton of bread and cheese crostinis ahead of time. At the end of the night, if there was leftover soup I would strain out the onions, top the crostinis and go to town. That’s all. This has become one of my favorite snacks since onions, bread, and the other ingredients are super cheap. The goat cheese is the most costly thing required, and you don’t need a lot.
Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. And let’s come up with some other reboots of dishes and find a fun way to present a classic. This was a soup turned into an appetizer. Gazpacho fritters next time?