Fairly recently I discovered Yotam Ottolenghi‘s cooking and I’ve become a fan instantly. His recipes showcases the best of Middle Eastern flavours and ingredients, and are a total pleasure to cook. I found this Ottolenghi recipe in an old myWaitrose magazine and have been waiting for an occasion to make it. This is not a quick dish to cook as caramelising onions takes time and patience, but it is worth it in the end. I have used red onion instead of Ottolenghi’s white onions in the recipe below, but needless to say, the result will be delicious either way. These crostini made for a delicious starter but can also be served as canapés.

Caramelised Onion Crostini

Serves 4 | Prepare 15 minutes | Cook 1hr 5 minutes | A little effort | Vegetarian


You’ll need
  • 30g unsalted butter;
  • 4 tbsp olive oil;
  • 3 large red onions (about 800g), thinly sliced;
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced;
  • 5 thyme sprigs;
  • 1/2 tsp salt;
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds;
  • 6 pitted black wrinkly olives, quartered;
  • 4-8 slices sourdough;
  • 50g soft rindless goat’s cheese;
  • 2 tsp flat leaf parsley.

For the caramelised onion, heat the butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, lidded sauté pan. Add the onions, garlic, thyme and salt. Cover and cook on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 50-60 minutes. The onion should become soft and sweet, golden and translucent.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Crush lightly in a pestle and mortar. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs from the onion mixture (most of the leaves will have collapsed into the onions), then fold through the coriander seeds and olives. Set aside.

For the sourdough toasts, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas mark 2. Brush the sourdough with the remaining olive oil on one side and bake for 10-15 minutes., until crisp. Remove from the oven.

To serve, increase the oven temperature to 170C/150C fan/gas mark 3. Pile the onion mixture on top of the crispy sourdough, dot with the goat’s cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Sprinkle over the parsley and olives, and serve immediately.

Original recipe from myWaitrose magazine, issue July 2013, unfortunately no longer available online. However, more Ottolenghi are available on his website, and of course, his books.