For an upscale appetizer to wow guests this festive season, try caramelized onions and pear on prepared pizza crust, naan bread or Greek pita bread. Caramelized onions, ripe pears, walnuts and aged cheddar make a classic flavour combination.
Caramelized Onion Appetizer
20 ml (4 tsp) olive oil
3 onions, thinly sliced (about 750 ml/3 cups)
10 ml (2 tsp) granulated sugar
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
1 flatbread (about 30 by 23 cm/12 by 9 inches)
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
75 ml (1/3 cup) chopped walnuts
125 ml (1/2 cup) crumbled aged white cheddar
Pepper, to taste
5 ml (1 tsp) finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and rich golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes; reduce heat if browning too quickly. (Onions can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days; return to room temperature to continue.)
Place flatbread on a baking sheet; spread with caramelized onions, top with pear, walnuts and cheese and sprinkle with pepper. Bake in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 10 to 13 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 4 minutes before cutting. .
Tip: Caramelized onions are great as a side dish with roast, added to mashed potatoes or as a filling for quiche or omelettes. They are delicious on crostini or as a pizza topping.