November 4, 2013

Apples + Onions

Apples sautéed with onions is quite possibly one of my favorite combinations.

Throw in some browned butter, sage, chèvre, and toast and you have a delicious appetizer - or, in my case, breakfast.  Something about this is reminiscent of stuffing (probably the onions and sage) and everything about this says fall.  Heck, I picked the sage from my Mid-Autumn garden this morning.

Speaking of fall, the trees on the south side of my home have begun dropping leaves!  This is exciting, because I can start taking food photos inside again.  Yeah, yeah, it was seventy-two degrees yesterday, but I wrote this post this morning and the high today is in the forties.  Not bad, but it's nice to keep my breakfast indoors and eat it while it's hot.  Plus, I have a cold.  Or allergies.  I still haven't decided three days into it.

After making these crostini, I realized that the apple-onion-sage combo would also make just about the best home fries ever.  Tossing a couple chopped potatoes (all standard or combined with sweet potatoes) along with the onions would be fantastic.  Something to think about for your next, ahem, dinner party (Thanksgiving side dish).

*Side Note: I use tags and labels for every post, along with putting links to each in the Recipe Index. Recently, I have been trying to tag everything that is vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, but also want to include tags when each is just an option.  Today, for instance, the butter can be switched for olive oil and the cheese left off.  And with crostini, gluten-free bread isn't so bad. I plan to update the Recipe Index to include separate sections for these categories, too.  Librarian-ed.

  • 1/4 cup butter, separated
  • Sprig of fresh sage, with about 8-10 leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly hull-to-hull
  • 2 apples
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 6-8 slices good-quality, artisan-style bread
  • Chèvre, to top

After rinsing sage, separate into individual leaves and dry thoroughly between the layers of a dish towel. Set aside while melting three tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.

Once the butter is melted and starting to foam, add the sage leaves.  Allow them to crisp up and became fully saturated with the butter.  If the butter starts to brown, that's great!  Turn the heat to low until the sage is cooked (or take off the heat if using an electric stove).  The whole process can take a few minutes.

Remove the sage leaves to a paper towel and set aside.  Add sliced onions to the skillet and turn up the heat to medium-high.  Salt the onions to help them break down and develop flavor.  Tossing only occasionally, allow the onions to soften and begin to brown.  While you are waiting for them to cook, dice the apples, then add them to the skillet.

I pretty much always use a non-stick skillet, but also love some browning.  To achieve this in a non-stick skillet, resist the temptation to stir often.  I tend to toss ingredients in the pan once every few minutes.  During the few-minutes-waiting-periods, butter the bread slices with the remaining tablespoon of butter and place under a broiler for about 3 minutes, until toasted and golden, depending on your broiler.  Of course, if you have an actual toaster, you can use that, too, logically buttering the toast afterwards.  No kitchen fires, please.

When the apples and onions are softened and some edges are browned, turn off heat and stir in apple cider vinegar.  Divide the mixture evenly over the toasts and top each with chèvre and fried sage leaves. Serve warm.

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