Because these caramelized onions for the bruschetta is so deeply flavored, any style of extra-virgin olive oil is suitable for this recipe. Be patient while cooking the onions. Long, slow cooking renders them sweet with a lasting flavor. You can prepare them ahead, if you wish.
And do use your best balsamic vinegar. The intensity of balsamic vinegar varies; add it drop by drop until it imparts a complexity to the onions, but not enough so they taste of vinegar.–Fran Gage
The bruschetta shown in the foreground is a Mustard Greens Bruschetta. The bruschette at the top and to the right are topped with caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar.
Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bruschetta Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, not including cooling | 4 servings
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large onions (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- Fine sea salt
- Balsamic vinegar, to taste
- 4 slices grilled or toasted bread
- Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until it trembles, becomes aromatic, and easily coats the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and turn the heat to very low. Sprinkle with salt. Cook the onions uncovered, stirring occasionally, until they are the color of a polished mahogany table, about 1 hour. They will shrink dramatically.
- 2. Transfer the onions to a bowl and let them cool. Add balsamic vinegar drop by drop until the flavor of the onions is complex but not vinegary. Sprinkle with fleur de sel if needed.
- 3. To make the bruschetta, brush the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
- 4. Put a generous pile of onions on each slice of bruschetta. Add a few grindings of pepper, and serve immediately.
Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bruschetta Recipe © 2009 Fran Gage. Photo © 2009 Maren Caruso. All rights reserved.