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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Balsamic Onion Marmalade and Gruyere Tartine Recipe

An Italian blogger, living in Germany came up with a unique virtual blog event, a blog cooking day called "Is my blog burning?"

"Why not put up a day where, just for the fun, bloggers take up a certain theme and come up with a recipe (original or not) for it? It would be really interesting to see what people from different backgrounds come up with and a great chance to get new ideas."

A French blogger picked the theme of tartine for today, March 7th, 2004.

A French open-faced sandwich, especially one with a rich or fancy spread.

So I went down to the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace to find some inspiration for this event. What was in season? What nice bread was available? Sweet? Savory? Hot? Cold? So many choices!

I managed to get one of the last "pain au levain with walnuts" and this helped me with the rest of my decisions. I chose to make a balsamic onion marmalade tartine topped with Gruyere cheese. A French bread (with a California addition--the walnuts) topped with an Italian inspired spread and a Swiss cheese!

Balsamic Onion Marmalade and Gruyere Tartine
Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are


1 medium onion (red, white or yellow)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

4 slices of bread, preferably pain au levain or similar

grated Gruyere cheese


Sliver the onions as thin as you can using a madoline or slicing with a knife. Melt the butter and oil over a low flame. Add the onion, salt and sugar. Stir the onions for a minute or so, then lower the heat and cover the pan to allow the onions to soften. After a few minutes remove the cover and stir until the onions caramelize. Off the heat add the balsamic vinegar then stir to mix over the heat and reduce until the vinegar has evaporated--you can add some water if it needs it.

Slice the bread, not too thin! Top with the onion marmalade, sprinkle on about a tablespoon of grated Gruyere per piece of bread and pop in the broiler until the cheese melts. Serve immediately with a tossed green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil.