Caramelized Onion, Apple and Goat Cheese Melts
Caramelizing onions can be a lesson in patience, but you need to cook these onions for only half the usual time, just enough to break them down and turn them a light golden brown. Once cooked, they make up the bulk of the filling for these sandwiches. Folding the warm onions into the goat cheese softens the cheese, helping it glide easily over the bread. The cheese helps bind everything together, so nothing slips out while the sandwich is toasting in the pan. You can use apples or pears here; either adds some fresh crunch. Seasoned with woody thyme and zippy kalamata olives, this sandwich makes a hearty lunch, or a light supper paired with soup or salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed for frying
- 1 ½pounds Vidalia onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- 1teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- ½cup soft goat cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 2tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives (about 10 olives)
- 8(1/2-inch-thick) slices sourdough bread
- ½pound apples or pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
Step 1Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the onions and salt and cook, tossing frequently, until the onions turn creamy and golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
Step 2Add thyme and red-pepper flakes and stir for another 30 to 45 seconds until fragrant. Transfer the onions to a small bowl and stir in the goat cheese and olives.
Step 3Place 4 slices of bread on the counter and divide the onion mixture among them, spreading to the edges. Top with the apple or pear slices, then the remaining bread, pressing down gently to adhere.
Step 4Wipe the same skillet down with a paper towel, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil (or more as needed to coat the bottom of the pan) and heat over medium. Working in batches, if needed, add the sandwiches and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, pressing them gently to compress them as they cook, until the bread is toasted and deeply golden brown. If working in batches, add more olive oil as needed and cook remaining sandwiches. Slice and serve.