Sometimes things are best kept easy. In part because it’s getting darker already (waaah, where’s my natural light gone?!), so I can’t be slow cooking all day long if I want pretty pictures, to put it in a brutally honest way. And also, sometimes it’s just nice to not have a lot of faff with recipes. And simple and easy still tastes pretty good in this case.
Nom. I whole-heartedly have a love for most things including caramelised onions, so we’re off to a great start. This recipe actually calls for red onions, which are slightly sweeter though the pictures show one made with normal yellow onions, which are less naturally sweet. Your call.
This is adapted from a recipe by Bill Granger, whose cookbooks are the epitome of simple and easy but still the best of those worlds. Taste is by no means compromised (I really recommend his Everyday Asian book, actually–a mix of classic, authentic, but still easy enough for everyday cooking, and the pictures are gorgeous. I’ve made probably about eighty percent of the recipes in there, and we have not had a single dud).
Serves approx 4-5 as a main meal. I’ve added the prosciutto as an extra, but you could skip it and keep the dish vegetarian, or go wild with other toppings!
Adapted from Bill Granger’s Easy
One pack of puff pastry, approx 400g.
2 tbsp of olive oil
1kg of red or yellow onions
2 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper
50g of parmesan, or more
100g of feta cheese, or goat’s cheese, or a nice blue cheese (whatever you fancy!)
5 slices of prosciutto (optional)
flour for dusting and rolling the pastry
Finely slice the onions, and heat up a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the onions, and cook on medium heat so that the onions don’t turn brown too early or burn, stirring regularly. You want them to caramelise slowly, say over twenty minutes. The longer the better, so if you have the time, turn down the heat and make it thirty minutes.
Add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and stir together again. Cook for another ten minutes or so, again at a relatively low heat. Take off the heat, and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (425°F). On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. If you are combining two sheets, dab them with a little bit of water where you want them to stick together to create a rectangle roughly at 20cm x 40 cm. It’s okay if it looks a little rustic, like mine–otherwise, use a sharp knife to cut clean edges. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray lined with baking paper (parchment).
If you’d like a puffed up edge — score a 1cm rim around the edge of your pastry – this will then puff up and create your crust. I made mine smaller from the very start, so kept mine looking like the puff pastry equivalent of pizza. (that’s okay too!) Press the entire pastry sheet with a fork, not all the way through but enough to create small dots all over.
Sprinkle over the parmesan equally. Dollop the onion mixture onto the sheet (spreading will move the cheese) so that it covers the sheet. Pop into the oven for roughly minutes 20 minutes, adding the prosciutto (if using) and the cheese in the last five minutes, and serve with a fresh salad for a light dinner.
Note: making smaller versions of these by cutting up the puff pastry would make really cute tarts for starters, or even a picnic!