Soup-and-Sandwich Season’s Last Hurrah

As much as I'm excited about spring, there's at least one reason I am sad to see winter go — it's no longer soup weather. Not that I couldn't make soups in the hot Louisiana summer, but they just don't have the same appeal on a scorcher as they do when it's below 60 degrees outside. So, before it's too late, I decided to try one last recipe. I used my French Onion Soup as inspiration for a grilled cheese.

And it ended up being an excellent idea! 
 
While onions go well in almost every savory dish, they rarely get the credit they deserve. This sandwich showcases a veggie that is typically used to add flavor to dishes. Here, the onions are the star of the show.
 
A combination of red and yellow onions are caramelized and seasoned with thyme. Splashing in a little red wine enhances the flavor and adds depth to the onions. Then the onions are piled on slices of whole wheat bread and covered in shredded Gruyere cheese. 
 
I found this best eaten as an open face sandwich, so I could have more onions and cheese per slice of bread.
Despite looking like a fancy sandwich, it is quite easy. If you can caramelize onions, you can make this sandwich. And if you can slice onions and put them in a pan on the stove, you can caramelize them. Patience is the only other requirement for making delicious caramelized onions.
 
Whole wheat bread topped with red wine and thyme infused caramelized onions and melted Gruyere — this is the perfect sandwich to celebrate the often-overlooked onion.

 


Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Sandwich

Recipe by Meme Inge, MS, RD, LDN

Serves 2

Ingredients
1 tsp. olive or canola oil
2 tsp. butter
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
3 Tbsp. red wine or broth
4 1-ounce slices whole wheat bread
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, optional

Directions

  1. Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When the butter has melted, add the onions. Cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Stir in the salt and dried thyme. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are a caramel color. 
  3. Add in the red wine, and cook for about 2 minutes until most of the wine has evaporated. Remove from heat. 
  4. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread in a oven proof skillet or a baking sheet. Top each slice with an equal amount of onions. Top each with cheese (about 2 tablespoons for each slice). Broil until the cheese is bubbly.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh thyme if desired.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich (1/2 recipe)
Calories: 369
Fat: 17.1g; Saturated fat: 7.9g
Carbohydrates: 37.8g; Fiber: 6.8g
Protein: 17.9g

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Meme Inge
Meme Inge, MS, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian in New Orleans by day, and a food writer in her free time. Read her recipes, advice and restaurant reviews on her blog, Living Well Kitchen, and follow Meme on Twitter and Pinterest.