How to Make Caramelized Onions, Featuring: Brie, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Bruschetta

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Day 2 of Five Days of Appetizers for the Holidays!

Day One: Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip

I don’t know about you all, but for me, the holidays are very tightly associated with sensory memories. When I think about going home for Christmas, I immediately imagine smelling the evergreen in the house, having my back to a hot fireplace, and delicious smells emitting from the kitchen.

This recipe is one of those holiday dishes that my mind imagines, with mouth water smells that will fill the whole house and bring everyone to the table. In other words, for those of you hosting a party or festive gathering this holiday season- this recipe is perfect for you! Greet your guests at the door with the smell of fresh baked brie, caramelized onions, and fresh ripe pears. It’s a perfect winter combination and easy to handle in small portions.

Check back tomorrow for another delicious appetizer, and happy holidays!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette (I prefer a whole wheat, whole grain baguette!)
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/6 wheel Brie cheese
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinaigrette {optional/if needed}

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Directions for caramelized onions:

  1. In a medium sized skillet, heat up 2 Tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the onions and brown sugar to the pan, stirring until completely mixed.
  2. Once mixed, turn the heat down to medium-low heat and allow the onions to “sweat” for fifteen minutes- stirring every five minutes or so. This allows the water to completely steam out of the onions, ensuring they will caramelize all the way through.
  3. Once fifteen minutes has passed, continue cook the onions the onions, but stir frequently. If at any point the onions begin sticking to the pan, add a dash of balsamic vinaigrette for moisture.
  4. Cook until the onions are soft and between honey-colored and deep brown in shade, about 30- 35 minutes total.

Directions for bruschetta:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F and line a baking sheet with a sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut your loaf of bread into 1-inch slices and arrange on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bread for 3 minutes, or until lightly crisp.
  4. While the bread is toasting, slice the Brie and pear into thin, long slices, if not already prepared.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and quickly arrange the bruschetta.  Each piece of bread should have a piece of Brie on the bottom, 1-2 slices of pear in the middle, and a scoop of caramelized onions on top.
  6. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 5- 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from the oven, allow the bruschetta to cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Kale

If I had to make a list of my absolute favorite foods, the top ranking foods would be: chocolate, bread, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, blueberries. Hands down. I have to fight the temptation to eat chocolate and a muffin with every meal, and I pin every single sweet potato recipe I see on pinterest like it’s my job. Thus, this recipe is about as close as it comes to perfection in my book- it’s got bread in the form of a yummy pizza crust, a base of sweet potato, and goat cheese to top it all off! What more could a girl want?! (besides chocolate and blueberries.) I know it may seem weird to have a sweet potato pizza, but try something new! Shake up your typical routine! Life’s more fun that way, and turns out- a pizza can be more delicious that way too.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 3 tbsp. skim milk or soymilk
  • 1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1 cup shredded goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 premade pizza crust (I suggest whole wheat)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse your sweet potato and poke several small holes in it with a fork.
  3. Wrap the sweet potato in aluminum foil, place in your preheated oven, and bake for about 45 minutes- or until soft all the way through.*
  4. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and dash of salt to the pan.  Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 30- 40 minutes or until just caramelized.
  5. When the onion is close to being done cooking, add the kale to the skillet and cook until tender and wilted. This should only take a few minutes! Remove the pan from heat and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Scoop the potato insides into a medium bowl and mash.  Add the milk and salt, mixing until blended in and smooth.
  7. Using a large spoon, spread the potato mixture onto a pizza crust.
  8. Sprinkle with half of cheese, the kale and onions, and then the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until kale begins to crisp and cheese melts.
  10. Enjoy!

Notes and Tips:

  • Tip: Don’t turn your oven off after baking your potato- leave it on because in a few minutes you will need it heated up to bake your pizza!
  • This recipe is from the food blog ‘Oh My Veggies’ It’s one of my favorites- check it out!