Don’t Cry For Me Cipollini – Cipollini Onion and Rosemary Flatbreads
Its crazy to think that I have been wearing contacts for over 15 years. I received my first pair as a precocious 10 year old who had just lost yet another pair of glasses. My mom, at her wits end with my quirky penchant for misplacing everything from books, to lenses, to shoes, gloves, hats, and occasionally my entire backpack, was sincerely hoping this would be the last time she would bring me to the eye doctors for a replacement pair. My ophthalmologist proposed the idea of contacts, they would be far more difficult to misplace, and since a single pair would be far less expensive than a set of frames, in the event that I did misplace a lens, it wouldn’t be quite as damaging.
And so, for as long as I can remember, I have worn contacts. I cannot recall life without them, how my morning routine may have differed, how my activities were altered. For as long as I have been cooking I have been wearing my little Acuvue 2 friends. And until recently I had never prepped an onion without my lenses in. That is, until this morning, when, while prepping mirepoix for chicken soup in my brand new glasses, I sliced into an onion and felt a sensation I had never before felt. My eyes were on FIRE! I now know how the rest of the general population fees when slicing and dicing onions, and, for once, I feel blessed to be optically challenged.
These flatbreads, which I discovered on a blog post by one of my new favorite blog writers, Sarah, at the Yellow House blog, don’t employ just any old variety of onion. These beautiful little hors d’ouvres showcase one of my all time favorite varieties of onion, the Cipollini. Like many of my ancestors, Cipollinis hail from Italy. The name Cipollini, means small onion in Italian. And what these little beauties lack in size they make up for in flavor. Like Vadalia onions, Cipollini onions are a sweet variety of onion. They have far more residual sugar, when cooked, than their traditional counterparts. The variety can range in color from white to yellow to red, and can be found at many grocery stores, including Whole Foods, where I found these little beauties, on sale, lucky me.
This dish really highlights the beautiful soft flavors of the Cippolini. Though the onion is the proud “hero” of this dish, the earthy whole wheat flat breads play an important supporting role. It forms not only the literal base of the adorable appetizer, and lends it its name, but serves as a fantastic textural and flavor counterpoint to the silky sweet onion. The goat cheese is the glue that holds it all together, again, literally, in that it helps the onion “stick” to the flat bread and not slide off, but also brings a tangy, and classy element to the party. And, speaking of parties, these would make a fantastic contribution to your next shindig. They may even be the belle of the ball. So go on and try them! Just remember to wear your contacts, or goggles.
Cipollini Onion and Rosemary Flatbreads from a post by Sarah of “The Yellow House” blog
8-10 Cipollini Onions, Bottoms Still Intact, Peeled
2 TBSP Olive Oil
Several Sprigs Rosemary
1 1/2 C. 50/50 Flour (50% White, 50% Whole Wheat)
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TSP Baking Powder
1/2 TSP Sea Salt
1/2 C. Warm Water
More Rosemary to Garnish
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt for the flatbreads while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Add the olive oil, stirring gently. Add as much of the water as necessary until the dough comes together into a sticky ball. Once the dough is formed, let it rest while you move on to the onions.
Peel the onions (with contacts in if applicable), and toss in olive oil, roughly chopped rosemary and sea salt. Place onions in roasting pan and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until caramelized and tender.
While the onions are roasting, heat a cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil (grapeseed or vegetable) over high heat. Divide the dough ball into 8 pieces, roll each into a ball and flatten into very thin rounds on a wooden cutting board. Add the rounds to the hot skillet, 4 at a time, and flip when they begin to blister and are lightly browned on one side. The second side will cook more quickly, so keep an eye on them.
When everything is ready, spread the chèvre onto the flatbreads, top with an onion, smooshed down. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and serve!