Sunday, December 25, 2011

Caramelized Onion Crostini - Crostini di Cipolla

For a delicious New Year's Eve treat, I made a batch of caramelized onions topped bread - or Crostini di Cipolla.  It was an open faced sandwich that tasted like French Onion Soup.  This recipe is so easy and versatile - it is my go-to recipe for comfort and ease.  I make it into soup, use it as a topping for hamburgers or just enjoy it on crusty bread, like I did here.
The recipe is easy to tailor to your tastes -- I spiced the onions with rosemary and thyme, but if you prefer dill, oregano, basil.... just make those changes.
The "secret" ingredient -- really isn't secret at all, is balsamic vinegar.  A splash of vinegar at the end of the caramelizing process adds a depth of flavor to the onions that turns a dish from comforting to gourmet.
Another tip - when caramelizing onions, use a variety of onions.  A combination of red, yellow and sweet onions makes a great mix of flavors.
This dish gets even more filling with a sprinkle of cheese added on top of the hot onions.  Add your favorite cheese -- Swiss or Parmesan for a hearty bite to eat.

Caramelized Onion Crostini - Crostini di Cipolla

4-5 onions, sliced - use a variety
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
thyme, rosemary - 1-2 tsp each
salt and pepper
slices of good bread, sliced ciabatta etc
optional - cheese for topping, Parmigiana, Romano or any kind you like
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Saute the onions until melted down.  Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary.  Cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
Add the wine and cook down until evaporated.
Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and cook down further.
Once cooked down, pour vinegar over the onions and stir until evenly covered.  Shut off the heat.
Toast bread slices on both sides.
Top with hot onion mixture.  If desired, add cheese and serve.

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