I’m pretty sure my friends and I were the only kids who threw dinner parties in high school; they wanted to feel like sophisticated adults and I wanted to cook. My friend Sofya and I literally used to sit in class and write the menus in our notebooks. The gatherings never turned out super sophisticated (I mean, we ate off of paper plates and had jello shots for dessert), but we felt pretty cool anyway. And most importantly for me, I got to use my peers as guinea pigs for trying new recipes and techniques.
If memory serves me right, these caramelized onion crostini first graced my table circa 2008 for “Friendsgiving” dinner. No one – myself included – could fathom that humble onions could be turned into such sweet-savory magic. Along with a slather of funky goat cheese and the woodsy aroma of thyme, this grown-up appetizer was an absolute hit.
I’ve served these crostini at every single party I’ve hosted since. I usually prep the toasts and onions in advance, so when guests arrive early and ask if they can help in the kitchen, they can tackle crostini assembly while enjoying their first drinks.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 baguette, cut into ⅓″-thick rounds
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over low heat. When butter is melted, add onions and salt, and toss to combine. Cover tightly with a lid and cook until the steam has softened the onions and onions are becoming translucent, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
- Remove lid and turn heat up to medium. Stir in thyme and pepper. Cook until onions are browned and pasty, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 400F. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle lightly with remaining olive oil, flip, and drizzle the other side.
- Bake until toasts are golden brown around the edges, 5-7 minutes.
- To serve, spread about 1 teaspoon goat cheese onto each piece of crostini and top with about 1 tablespoon onions.
What is your favorite hors d’oeuvre to serve at parties?