This is one of those recipes that looks very impressive with minimal work—an excellent one to add to your repertoire. The onions are caramelized with balsamic vinegar and a touch of brown sugar, then mixed with muenster cheese and wrapped in puff pastry.


Healthy? Nope. Delicious? Absolutely! So, keep this one in mind when you want to splurge, or when you need to host or impress on short notice. Oh, and if you don't like balsamic, this one's not for you.


Begin by sautéing the onions in oil and salt for about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic and brown sugar, turn the flame down very low and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Let the mixture cool, and mix in the muenster cheese.


Roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Place half the mixture down the center. Cut the edges into strips and braid as pictured—basically crisscrossing the strands over each other. Tuck in the ends. Repeat with second sheet and second half of the onion mixture.


Brush with egg and bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes (until golden). Timing will vary by oven. If you're baking on disposable pans you might also need to leave it in a little longer. Don't take it out when it's still blonde—undercooked puff pastry is not particularly pleasant.


Slice and serve.

What could you serve this with? I suggest a big lettuce salad. I find fresh veggies help cut through the richness of puff pastry. A light soup, like zucchini or carrot, would also be a nice accompaniment.


Ingredients:

  • 4 small purple onions (or 2 large)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded muenster cheese
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Cut the onions in quarter rounds and sauté with oil and salt for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, turn the fire very low and cook another 10 or so minutes.
  3. Remove, let the mixture cool and add 1 cup shredded muenster cheese.
  4. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry dough. Place half the mixture down the center. Cut the edges into strips and braid as pictured. Repeat with second sheet and second half of the onion mixture.
  5. Brush with egg and bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes (until golden). Timing will vary by oven. If you're baking on disposable pans you might also need to leave it in a little longer.

Yields: 16 slices


Like the braided look? You can use the same technique with other filings—sweet or savory.

Ideas for sweet filling: blueberry, strawberry, cherry, apple, rhubarb or cheese.

Ideas for savory filling: tomato sauce and pizza cheese, onion and mushroom, broccoli and cheese, or pulled or ground beef.