We can all use a moment to relax and unwind. For moms like me, that’s not as easy as it sounds. We’re always on call.
“Where are my baseball pants?”
“Have you seen my library book?”
“Will you drive me to my friend’s house?”
Throw in a husband’s random requests on top of that…sometimes a girl just has to take a break.
I’m thankful I have a fun group of girlfriends who I can call and say, “It’s time for a girls’ night!” Calls go out and we’re instantly planning a mini-party. For our most recent girl’s night, I wanted to make something to share that was a little bit more than the usual chips and dip for my friends. We’re all too accustomed to getting leftover fish crackers and half-eaten chicken nuggets left on plates. It’s time to do something that is just a little classier for my friends. Balsamic Glazed Onion Crostini sounded like just the right thing! Just saying the word “crostini” sounds elegant and classy…just like my friends!
These look like it takes a grand effort to make them, but there were really only a few ingredients and they were very simple to make. Let me show you how I made these for our girls’ night.
Prep work is easy. Cut a baguette into ½-inch slices. When you purchase the baguette from the store, make life a little easier on yourself by asking the bakery counter to slice it for you. You’ll thank me for that one later on. Shortcuts are an art form around here.
As you are working with the onions, just remember – no pain, no gain. Slice 3 large yellow onions into thin slices. Quarter them first, then slice them thinly. I did take a picture, but at the time, I had no idea if it was actually in focus because I couldn’t see through my tears. If anyone has any tips for tear-free onion-cutting, I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment later…please!
As with any really good recipe, this one begins with butter! Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 12-inch skillet on medium-high heat.
Then stir in 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions. I found the 5 cups of sliced onions reduce down to about 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked onions. I am definitely going to make this again. (You will, too!) Plan ahead to be able to double the recipe for large groups – this appetizer goes fast!
Next, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the onions. Continue to stir the onions for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Then add 2 teaspoons sugar to the pan and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you stir it occasionally to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.
Cook until the onions are golden brown.
I will admit that I searched for a recipe to make that my kids wouldn’t necessarily be enthusiastic to try. My kids are known for coming into the kitchen and sneaking ingredients while I am cooking. When I told them I was making Balsamic Glazed Onion Crostini, they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. So I said, “Onions, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar.” They were less than interested at that point. (Yes!) The husband, however, was intrigued. (Sigh!)
To make sure this is good and tasty, add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley to the sautéed onions.
Once all is combined, remove the onions from the heat and set aside in a bowl. In our house when you smell onions cooking, it usually means something super tasty is on the way. The kids started circling the kitchen like sharks. I was already on guard and told the boys, “You won’t like these.” Wouldn’t you know…I hear a little voice say, “How do you know if we don’t try it?” Seriously? Now is the time they actually listened to the things I say? Why not wait until dinnertime for that? Must. Stay. Strong. No. Sharing. Girls. Only.
Heat oven to 400°F. Place bread slices on a pan. I now encounter questions…
Bryce: “What’s that?”
Me: “It’s a French baguette.” That’s right, I’m going to give it a fancy name.
Bryce: “Looks like bread to me. Can I have some?”
Me: “No. It’s for girls’ night.”
Bryce: “Mom, it’s not nice when you don’t share…”
Seriously? He is using my quotes against me? At least I know they are hearing the pearls of wisdom that I drop along the way.
Me: “Out. You are not a girl nor are you staying for girls’ night.” Done.
Place the onion mixture on the bread slices. I used about a tablespoon on each one.
Then top the onions with blue cheese crumbles. Use your judgment on how much blue cheese you want. I went heavy on some and lighter on others so that there was a good variety of tastiness. You’ll need about 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles for the Balsamic Glazed Onion Crostini recipe.
Place them in the oven to bake for 5-7 minutes until the bread is toasted and cheese is melted. I had just gotten rid of the younger boys when the husband wandered into the kitchen.
Him: “Smells good! What are you making?”
Me: “Balsamic Glazed Onion Crostini for the girls. It’s Girls’ Night”. (I said it nicely, but in my head I was screaming “No boys allowed!” and my inner chick was wanting to say something mature like, “Girls Rule, Boys Drool - HA! These are for the girls!” However, the little ones were still hovering, so I managed to keep it together.
Woo-hoo! These are ready and they smell amazing! Then each crostini gets topped with a little drizzle of balsamic glaze. Most grocery stores sell the glazes in small bottles in the condiment or Italian food section. However if you are short on time or forgot to grab it from the store, you can make your own balsamic reduction glaze by combining 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons sugar in a saucepan. Cook at medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
Appetizers are ready! The boys have been chased out of the house, our movie has been chosen and now I just need the girls to arrive. This is my crazy life, but I sure am glad to have great girlfriends to share it with. Cheers to a fun night!
Alexandra is paid to write the Recipe Buzz Blog.