French Onion Panini

Friday 12 September 2014

 photo SAM_7094_zpse4e05cc2.jpg

I can still remember the first time I tasted French Onion Soup.  It was 1974 and I was attending Acadia University with my then husband.  We had a friend named Geoff and he had a girlfriend named Julia who was from Quebec City and who loved to cook.  She had a fancy dinner party one night for the four of us,  and the first course she served was French Onion Soup.  I couldn't tell you what anything else was that she served, but the French Onion Soup bowled me over completely.  (No pun intended!)

 photo SAM_7095_zps497c1a6f.jpg

  The soup was utterly delicious.  Julia was such a sophisticated gal . . . or she seemed to be to a small town Nova Scotia gal like myself!  She was even living with her boyfriend!  Unheard of in those days!  Well, not in small town Nova Scotia anyways!  I can remember her presentation and how she on another occasion taught me how to make the soup for myself.  It was just fabulous.

 photo SAM_7096_zps22009a9d.jpg

I have had French Onion soup in several restaurants through the years, and more often than not it's done so wrong . . .  the soup is well flavoured enough, but they put in gagging amounts of cheese.  I find it quite overwhelming and impossible to swallow.  

  photo SAM_7098_zpsaf33ff9b.jpg

I believe there has to be a happy balance of ingredients when you do something like French Onion Soup.  A subtlety of flavours . . .  nothing should be overwhelmingly glaringly in abundance . . .  and especially not the cheese  . . . unless of course, you are not talking about soup  . . .

 photo SAM_7099_zpsa96ea1b7.jpg

Now if you are talking about a French Onion Panini, that's a different kettle of fish . . .  you want a goodly amount of cheese in that.  It's a sandwich!  But not just any sandwich . . . of course!

  photo SAM_7100_zps2824a9d8.jpg

But a beautifully toasted panini . . .  filled with lots of caramelized onions and all the flavours of a nice bowl of French Onion Soup . . . beef stock, a bit of wine, Parmesan cheese and lots of oozingly beautifully tasting Gruyere cheese.    Oh, and some crispy garlic croutons for crunch.   We can't forget those!  Terrifically tasty and appealing.  I think I could now teach Julia a thing or two!
(Note to self, next time don't cut the sandwich in half with the same knife you used to slice the beetroot for the salad.  Urgh!)

  photo SAM_7101_zpscfa4abfe.jpg

*French Onion Panini*
Makes 1 sandwich
Printable Recipe

Your favourite soup in a deliciously toasted and buttery panini.  What's not to love about this!

1 TBS butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 TBS white wine or beef stock
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 ciabatta panini roll
1 1/2 tsp dried onion soup mix
1 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese
55g of gruyere cheese (1/2 cup)
 a handful of garlic croutons, homemade or store bought

 photo SAM_7102_zps53538d79.jpg

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.   Add the onions and wine or stock.   Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize.  Add the minced garlic about halfway through the cooking.   Cook for about 10 minutes altogether.   Scoop out of the pan, but do not wash the pan.  Cut your panini roll in half horizontally.  Spread the caramelized onions on the bottom half of the roll.  Sprinkle with the dry onion soup mix and the Parmesan Cheese.  Cover with the gruyere and then the croutons, crushed.  Top with the top half of the bun.   Heat the skillet and place the panini into it top side down first.   Weight down with a saucepan that you have a heavy tin inside.   Cook for several minutes and then flip over and replace the pan on top and cook for a few minutes longer, until golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey.  Cut on the diagonal and serve.


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!