Sunday, July 1, 2012

Caramlized Onion and Olive Toasts


I can officially check off one of the major events of the summer - hosting our gourmet group last night.  As much work and planning that goes into the menu and everything else required to entertain a group of 10 for dinner, I am sad to think that it's over and that July 4th is almost here. Summer flies far to quickly!

I shared the salad course for our gourmet dinner in my last post and today I'd like to share the appetizer course, Caramelized Onion Toasts. I had saved this recipe in 2008 and luckily came across it again while searching for appetizer recipes for our menu.  It was posted by Cream Puffs in Venice where it had been adapted from this Tyler Florence recipe.  I further adapted it based on the reviews. As you can likely tell from the photo, it was taken with my cell phone - almost as an after thought while enjoying the company of our guests.




These were delicious a HUGE hit with our group!

Caramelized Onion Toasts

Adapted from Tyler Florence and Cream Puffs in Venice
Printable Recipe

Serves 10

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for spreading on baguettes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter for sautéing onions
5 large Vidalia onions, cut in half and then sliced thinly
4-5 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnishing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 good, crusty baguettes
2/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are sweet and golden brown, about 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until golden brown, watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove thyme sprigs and allow to cool.  If refrigerated, be sure to drain the onions thoroughly before preparing toasts.

Meanwhile, holding the knife parallel to the cutting board, shave off the rounded top and bottom of the baguette with a serrated knife so that it lies flat. Then cut the baguette in half lengthwise to make 2 long slices of bread.

Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and spread with the softened butter. Top with a layer of caramelized onion and top with olives.  If desired, drizzle with a little olive oil. Scatter shaved Parmesan over the top. Place in the oven and bake until the bread is crispy, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves, then cut into serving pieces and serve hot.

Note: These should be assembled just before baking so that bread does not get soggy from the onions. Onions may be caramelized a day ahead.

67 comments:

  1. These sound so good, caramelized onions just make everything they come in contact with taste better. Love your outdoor table. xo

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  2. Your table setting is gorgeous, what a beautiful color!

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  3. What a beautiful setting with the clematis! My neighbor serves this very similar appetizer at our block party each year, and yes it is WONDERFUL! Glad you are enjoying the summer.

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  4. Delicious! What a lovely setting. If you ever have an opening in the group, I believe we could be there within two to three hours!!

    Enjoy your summer!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Oh I'm sure that your group enjoyed themselves very much...this appetizer just looks and sounds delicious.

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  6. They look delicious! We tried to eat outside last night, but even with fans it was too warm! Everyone is so used to air conditioning! I hope ie cools off for the 4 th and the following weekend.

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  7. What a pretty setting for dinner !! The appetizer sounds and looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Much to hot here for an outdoor venue now.
    Hope you enjoyed your weekend and stay cool.

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  8. Those look delicious. I love it when I run across a recipe I saved sometime ago. Your gourmet group sounds so fun, I would love to start one in our neighborhood.

    I echo your sentiments, so hard to believe it's July 1st.

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  9. I'd be very happy noshing on these all night! No doubt you all had an amazing meal and great time! Look forward to the rest of the meal:@)

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  10. I love caramelized onions and these look delicious!

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  11. the tarts sound delicious and the table and atmosphere so lovely!

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  12. The table looks so inviting and these caramel toasts are the perfect way to start your annual summer dinner.

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  13. My husband is in Europe right now, and I just spent an hour sitting in my back garden - just sitting and thinking and enjoying the beautiful space - and then I have come in and found your beautiful space. I love outdoor entertaining in the summer, too. Your yard is gorgeous. Love the chairs and the dramatic mood with the orange and the purple!
    Gorgeous!
    I would expect nothing less!
    )
    Valerie

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  14. What a pretty setting. I love the idea of a gourmet group meeting on a summer evening in the garden. I'm bookmarking the recipe, as it looks like something we'd really enjoy.

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  15. I love the gourmet setting my friend :D
    And your recipe is uterly gorgeous! What wonderful ingredients!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  16. Looks like a very nice place to entertain - how do I join this group - looking forward to the rest of the meal.

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  17. How fun to cook for friends and blog about it later! I love caramelized onions, especially with bread and a touch of olives! YUM!

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  18. Your setting is a pretty as ever! Really like the chargers too..The fans were a great idea..You know how we love onions:)

    Great job nana2..I am sure that's how you set the table for les boys too:)
    Is that Betty?

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    1. Thank you, Monique!

      Yes, Betty Corning dripping over the fence. She bloomed earlier this year!

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  19. I always enjoy reading about your gourmet dinner group, Susan. It must be so much fun to share a beautiful evening with friends who love to cook. Happy 4th of July.

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    2. It is so much fun (typos above) and we feel so fortunate to have foodie friends to share these events!

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  20. Susan, it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful dinner party! I love the bright orange tablecloth and the wicker chargers! Your caramelized onion toasts look delicious too!

    I know what you mean about seeing the 4th of July approach . . . we have a expression on the 5th of July "the backbone of the summer has been broken" ~ yes, rather dramatic, but it goes back to one of my husbands former co-workers . . . he was a little depressing! And it's become a joke with us, to see who remembers to say it first! LOL!!!

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  21. I can see why they'd be a hit, they look fantastic. The table is so pretty! Your dinner parties always sound lovely.
    Happy 4th!

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend!

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  22. The company, the setting under the tsars, the food I am sure it was a wonderful evening.

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  23. I love caramelized onions on anything. These sound wonderful and I'm sure they'd be a hit at any gathering. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. I can definitely see why these were a hit! You just can't go wrong with caramelized onions!

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  25. Your table is gorgeous! Love that orange table cloth. I do look forward to the rest of the meal.

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  26. Susan, your food always sounds so wonderful. I was inhaling these with my eyes and didn't even notice the quality of the picture (which still looks far better than anything taken on my cell phone!). Your table setting and your yard look beautiful. Well done!

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  27. Yummy caramelized onion toasts! And such a beautiful summer table! Love the warm orange tablecloth and the cool white chairs with the vibrant flowers. So inviting and a perfect place to enjoy good food and good friends!

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  28. Fantastic table setting, Susan. These caramelized onion toasts are very tasty too.

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  29. I have just returned from Greece and I would go right back there, the heat is oppressive here....I love this recipe, yummy!!

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  30. That is a perfect table. It looks more like spring than the dog days of summer... very wise to use fans to keep temperatures down and spirits up. Delicious little toasts.... must have been a huge hit!

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  31. Looks like a great night out in your backyard. Fan is always a good idea, my friends got one with the mist feature and it makes it feel much cooler.
    I like that this is a low-key recipe and can be assembled right ahead of serving. Need to remember it next time we are running around the get the grill going.
    Enjoy your summer...We all be back here stuck in our houses and computers again in winter.

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  32. very nice and love the table decor and your grandkids are sooo cute hugs

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  33. Your toasts look & sound delicious and I love your table and setting with your flowering clematis in the background! Hope you're staying cool in this sweltering weather :)

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  34. There is nothing better than good food and good company and it looks like you had them both Susan!

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  35. What a nice way to enjoy summer with friends and companies. :) Especially with a gorgeous Caramelized Onion Toast like this one.

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  36. I hope your July 4 was a very nice one spent with family. Very hot right now across the country which made it tough to be outside to enjoy July 4. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,pa

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  37. What a beautiful table setting and yard. I'd love to come to one of your parties. The appetizer sounds amazing too.

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  38. This looks like an appetizer most people would really enjoy, Susan! Your table setting looks very pretty. It has been very hot here, too, and humid. I'm already wishing for autumn ;)

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  39. Your caramelized toasts must have been a big hit. I know that they would be at my dinner table.

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  40. Wow Susan, what an tasty and awesome appetizer...and the table setting is just very pretty.
    Have a great weekend :)

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  41. I love using Vidalia onions this time of year - they are so sweet and delicious, especially when caramelized like this. These toasts look wonderful!

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  42. What a fun event! I wonder if I could get people interested in something like this.

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  43. This appetizer sounds fabulous!!!!! I will honestly prepare this soon. I want so much to have a summer dinner party but have had some challenges lately. Hopefully soon and this recipe will definitely be my app of choice, YUM. We are long past being able to entertain outdoors, heat and FL humidity. Thank you for sharing this recipe a btw, your table looked fabulous. The white iron centerpiece, was that a candle holder?

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! The white iron centerpiece is a tree on which I placed a string of battery-powered white mini lights. It give just the right amount of light after dark.

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  44. Hosting the gourmet club is always exciting. I know it's a lot of work but when it comes together its awesome. Love these toasts. A really light and flavorful appetizer to begin a great meal.

    Velva

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  45. Simple but it sounds absolutely delicious :) I'd be running around frantic if I were hosting the club. Love your table set-up, perfect for a summer meal.

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  46. Oh those toast look awesome and what a fun event!

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  47. These are lovely and appetizing. You must enjoy these dinners so much.

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  48. I have to tip my hat to you for having the dinner outdoors. I'd be retreating to my air conitioned home.
    The onion appetizers would be great in any season.

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  49. This is a perfect starter for any meal. I'd even eat it for dinner.

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  50. What a lovely setting, and the recipe looks absolutely heavenly! I love seeing the recipes from your Gourmet Group and can't wait to see more. Stay cool!

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  51. I would love to be in group like that, the table setting looks so bright and inviting!

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  52. Oh, Everything looks absolutely lovely, Susan! The caramelized toasts and the table setting ...Gorgeous! Glad to hear you had a wonderful time :) Have a lovely week!

    Hugs <3

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  53. What a gorgeous dinner. This is definitely my kind of food!

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  54. You light up the blogosphere my friend which is why I am awarding you with the Illuminating Blogger Award :D
    Congrats:
    http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/the-proud-moment/

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  55. Your table is perfectly lovely, Susan...so relaxing in the garden. And your toasts are the perfect starter. Love reading about the doings of your gourmet group!

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  56. it looks so perfect and inviting! the caramelized toasts are looking good

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  57. I just love your gourmet group. The orange just pops right off the table! And the setting is so beautiful. What fun to be a part of your group. We have a couple of groups too and it is so much fun. I love to find new recipes for them. Your appetizer looks wonderful - so flaky and easy.

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  58. Your dinner sound amazing! Gourmet groups are the best! Good friends, good food, what could be better! Hope you are enjoying your summer! I know you're not posting as much and I really appreciate you stopping by Color Chic!

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  59. I can't believe you took a picture that good with your cell phone! Wow!

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