Caramelized Onion-Apple Flat Bread with Blue and Goat Cheese
It appears Monday’s this month all have an unintended theme: being meatless. This one is super-simple and very scrumptious. It’s one of those eats that was created with a glass of wine as an accompaniment—think a bold cabernet. Your taste buds will thank you.
I think my love of using puff pastry has been well-established by now: asparagus goat cheese puff pastry tart, apple thyme tarts, roasted butternut squash tart, and of course, the recipe that started it all, apple compote baked brie. This recipe does something just a tiny bit scary: you will be cartelizing onions. Lots of onions. You will think too many onions. But on this simple appetizer, there’s no such thing as too much onion.
The first time we made this, the scent of the caramelized onions goaded our taste buds into trying a sweet addition to the sautéing red onions: apples. It doesn’t matter what variety of apple you choose; we used Granny Smith one time and Red Delicious the second time. The onions are cooked with fresh thyme, finely minced and cooked right there with the onion. A little bit of salt and freshly-ground pepper, you have your caramelized onion topping done in less than 30 minutes.
And of course there’s the cheese. Cheesy goodness crumbled on top of the caramelized onion and apple mixture. Be patient. Put it into a preheated oven, open that bottle of Cab and wait only 20 minutes, until the pastry or flatbread is brown and the cheese gooey and melted.
Okay, I hear the complaints of carnivores who want bacon, bacon, bacon everywhere. Yes, you could sauté some chopped bacon and sprinkle that atop the flatbread before baking. But frankly, why muddy the taste of those cheeses and the onions and apples? Tell your carnivores to chill.
Caramelized Onion-Apple Flat Bread with Blue and Goat Cheese Ingredients & Instructions
serves 4 (8 squares)
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but still cold. Alternatively, you can also use a pre-prepared flatbread
2-1/2 pounds (minimum) red onion, cut widthwise. Don’t worry if your cuts aren’t pretty or uniform. Just chop that onion! Two and a half-pounds are three large red onions.
1 or 2 fresh apples, any variety, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon of each into the onion mixture at the end of cooking)
1 or 2 teaspoons olive oil
A bold-flavored crumbly cheese, such as Roquefort
A delicate-flavored soft cheese, such as a goat cheese
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out puff pastry carefully, just to thin the pastry. You’ll add maybe another inch to the size of the pastry. Place the rolled pastry onto the parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Gently fold edges to create a small shelf. Set aside.
Bring a large or cast iron fry pan up to heat over medium heat. While the pan is heating. chop the onion.
You are going to think that you are slicing entirely too much onion. Not true. You cannot have too much onion! It significantly cooks down.
Once the pan is warm, add the olive oil, and allow it to warm.
Cut the apple. You may use one or two apples, to your taste. Chop the thyme.
Toss the onions into the olive oil, and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the apples. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss in the thyme. Combine. Sprinkle she sugar on top of the cooked onions, combine. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until onions are a delicious, savory brown.
Arrange the onions and apples on top of the pastry or flatbread.
Crumble the Roquefort cheese evenly atop the onion mixture. Arrange generous half-teaspoon glops of goat cheese atop the onion mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting with a serrated-edge knife.