Oct 13
2011

Crostini with Balsamic Caramelized Onions, Melted Cheese & Sage Recipe

Canapes-with-Balsamic-Caramelized-Onions-Melted-Cheese-&-Sage-Recipe-Cookin'-Canuck

One can never have too many appetizer or hors d’oeuvres recipes. With football and hockey (I am Canadian, after all) seasons in full swing and the holidays just around the corner, I am working on filling out my appetizer recipe box, particularly with easy recipes that require few ingredients. Fewer trips to the grocery store during holiday madness makes for a much happier “me”. This recipe of caramelized onions, sage and melted cheese requires items that are found in most pantries and refrigerators. Pop into the bakery for a fresh baguette, caramelize the onions ahead of time, pour a glass of wine and you are on your way to a low-stress cocktail or Sunday football party.

I discovered the sweet and savory flavor of balsamic caramelized onions a couple of years ago. The depth of flavor comes from the sweetness of the onions mixed with the slight acidity of balsamic vinegar. I put them in everything from soup (Tortellini Soup with Balsamic Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms – seriously good) to vegetarian stews (Crockpot Chickpea Stew with Caramelized Onions) and salads (Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cannellini Bean Salad – one of my favorite lunches).

The recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Car Onion Canape 1

For the onions, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 15 minutes.

Stir in brown sugar. Cover and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan again and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Car Onion Canape Collage

Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt, sage and an additional 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

CarOnionCanape4

Using a vegetable peeler, shave off Pecorino Romano slices, one for each baguette slice.

Divide the caramelized onions between the baguette slices and top each one with a slice of cheese.

Place in oven and bake until cheese is beginning to melt, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve.

CarOnionCanape5

Other hors d’oeuvres/appetizers with caramelized onions:
Cookin’ Canuck’s (guest post on White on Rice Couple) Pancetta, Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry “Ravioli”
Cookin’ Canuck’s Brie Cheese & Caramelized Onion Whole Wheat Flatbread
Guilty Kitchen’s Caramelized Onion Dip
Brown Eyed Baker’s Onion, Mushroom & Gruyere Tartlets
Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats’ Caramelized Onion Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites

Crostini with Caramelized Onions, Melted Cheese & Sage

Yield: 24 crostini

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly into semicircles
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 3 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For the onions, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in brown sugar. Cover and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan again and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt, sage and an additional 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  8. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off Pecorino Romano slices, one for each baguette slice.
  9. Divide the caramelized onions between the baguette slices and top each one with a slice of cheese.
  10. Place in oven and bake until cheese is beginning to melt, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Heather's Dish) October 14, 2011 at 6:12 am

crostini are one of my favorite things. seriously, i could eat a bunch of them and just call it dinner! these sound amazing, especially since i’ve been craving balsamic lately :)

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I could easily make a meal out of them too. Thanks, Heather.

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3 a spoonful of yumm October 14, 2011 at 6:27 am

this looks like a perfect appetizer !

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Thank you! They are always popular.

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5 Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook October 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

Looks great! I could see myself easily making a meal out of this.

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Chris – you’re right. They would be perfect with a salad on the side.

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7 Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray October 14, 2011 at 6:35 am

Oh man. Yes please! I’m all-in with anything that has caramelized onions and melted cheese!

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Rachel, you really can’t go wrong with that combination of flavors.

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9 blog is the new black October 14, 2011 at 6:40 am

These.look.divine!

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks so much!

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11 Katrina October 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

Yum! These little guys sound wonderful!

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thank you, Katrina!

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13 Helene Dsouza October 14, 2011 at 6:43 am

absolutly gorgeous. Wonderful idea of flavoures. *stomachegrowl*

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks, Helene! My stomach is growling just thinking about them, too.

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15 Lauren from Lauren's Latest October 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

I love the simplicity of this dish! It’s simple but looks so fancy!

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Don’t you love recipes that make you look so good but are SO darn easy?

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17 doodles October 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

carmelized onions and balsamic vinegar…………..I’m there!!

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

It really is an irresistible combination.

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19 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. October 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

omg i’m in heaven! Love this!

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Thanks, Alison!

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21 Bev Weidner October 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

This has my name written all over it. On every single crostini. My name. On them. All of them.

I’m dying.

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22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Bev, if we ever meet in person, I promise to make a batch of these for you.

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23 Barbara | Creative Culinary October 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I love balsamic caramelized onions too. I cook a whole bag of onions overnight in the crockpot to have on hand for assorted goodies; soups, eggs and appetizers. The original recipe for crockpot cooking did not call for balsamic vinegar but it’s my standard that I add to mine when I cook them on the stovetop so of course I did. I am not kidding when I say I could simply eat a bowl of caramelized onions so of course this appetizer is just perfect for me!

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

That’s a great idea, Barb. Caramelized onions add a wonderful flavor to soups, salad, sandwiches, etc. and it never hurts to have extras on hand.

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25 Sara October 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Making these tonight!! Quick question- you said you can caramelize them ahead of time- do you have a tip on the best way to reheat the onions before you put the crostinis together, or do they heat up in the oven when you’re melting the cheese?

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26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Sara, reheat the onions in a medium skillet set over low heat before transferring them to the crostini. I hope you enjoy them!

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27 Curt October 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Wow, how did I miss this awesome recipe yesterday? You’re one of my favorite blogs. I was pretty distracted yesterday and missed a few.

This is my kind of food!

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28 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Curt, thanks so much for your kind comment. Don’t feel badly – the post didn’t go up until late last night.

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29 marla October 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

It is try one cannot have enough appetizer recipes. This looks great, I must start using more sage. Love that herb :)

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30 marla October 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

PS. I am waiting on the Jelly Fish ;)

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31 Deborah October 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I’m definitely saving this recipe!! We always do all appetizers for New Year’s Eve – this would be perfect!

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32 Katarina October 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Yummy, these look really delicious!

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33 Nettie Moore October 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

Can I just tell you how beautiful your blog is and how yummy your recipes are. So awe inspiring!

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34 Choosy Beggar Tina October 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

I love the delicate paper thin slices of cheese. These appetizers look divine! Caramelized onions are so worth the wait.

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35 KC Quaretti October 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Dara your photo is great, it makes me want to reach right over and grab one! Will definately be trying this in the next few days!

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36 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen October 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

This looks so delicious, I really like the sage addition.

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37 Ashley@BakerbyNature October 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

How perfect that I just caramelized a batch of onions this afternoon, and happen to have sage in the fridge; a baguette will be coming home tomorrow night and making this happen.

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38 naomi October 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I’m all for making small bites a meal in themself. Love this recipe-so perfect for holiday entertaining.

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39 Isabel October 17, 2011 at 6:53 am

i want to eat those NOW! they look so yummy!!!

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40 Monet October 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

What a great way to start a party! This looks so good…and I’m so glad that my arm is better and I can visit and comment again! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Your words, recipes and photos…yum, yum, yum! Blessings from Austin

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41 Tori November 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

This looks perfect for the next gathering I have. I love how the recipe seems very deep in flavor but very simple to make (my style!).

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42 Nann......At Nann's Table December 29, 2011 at 12:19 am

Wow do these ever look delicious. I’m printing this fabulous recipe because both we would love it. You have a delightful blog. So glad I came. I am a new blogger of just 6 weeks and have so enjoyed finding other incredibly wonderful blogs like yours.

Nann

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