Sweet Onion, Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
This is currently my favorite bruschetta recipe. I’ve adapted it a bit from the recipe used in the “Cooking Couples” class B and I took at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (if you’re living in the Boston area and interested, we had a great time – I highly recommend it!) For the topping, you slowly cook down some onions until caramelized, then mix in some chopped dried figs, red wine, a little balsamic vinegar, and fresh rosemary. Pile this on top of some lightly toasted baguette slices, top with some crumbled goat cheese and a little more rosemary, and broil until the cheese is melting. They’re a delicious sweet-tart-savory bite that marry some of my favorite flavors. This recipe makes enough topping for 1 very large baguette, or two medium-sized ones.
1 large or 2 medium baguettes, sliced into 1/3 inch slices
5 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
8 oz. dried figs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
8 oz goat cheese
Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the broiler.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan. Add the sliced red onions and cook over medium heat until soft and golden — this usually takes me about 30-45 minutes. The goal is to cook them low and slow, to get them nice and golden brown from their sugars caramelizing, instead of using higher heat to brown the outsides before the sugars have been released.
Stir in the figs and garlic, then add the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Simmer this mixture, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated — anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and 1 tsp rosemary; season well with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Spread the slices of baguette out on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush with the remaining 3 tbsp oil. Bake the baguette slices until lightly toasted (watch them carefully to avoid burning) – this only takes a few minutes if you use the broiler. Remove from the oven and cool slightly, until you can handle them.
Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of the onion-fig mixture and some crumbled goat cheese. Season with pepper and scatter the remaining 2 tsp rosemary over the tops, then bake just until the goat cheese melts, about 5 minutes.