Caramelized onions lend their unmistakable flavor to many dishes. In this delicious appetizer, they play the lead, with figs, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary in supporting roles. The next time you need to make a splash at a gathering, whip up a batch or two of these!
The Best Fig Jam, Ever
“Best ever” is a bold claim to make, but after you’ve tried this fig jam, we think you’ll agree it’s merited. Just five ingredients, including water, combine to make an addictively delicious jam that will have you licking your stirring spoon.
- 7 to 9 large dried figs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
First, finely dice the figs and place them in a bowl. Pour the red wine over them and let them marinate for at least half an hour. Pour the figs and wine into a sauce pan, and add the sweetener of your choice, cloves, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook to a thick, clinging consistency.
The flavors of the jam improve when allowed to sit overnight. It will keep well for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and six months in the freezer.
Tips for Top-Notch Caramelized Onions
If you’ve ever caramelized onions before, you know it’s a process that can’t be rushed. It typically takes around 45 minutes for the sugars in the onion to caramelize. When you taste the results, we promise you’ll feel that your patience has been rewarded! To make these onions, you will need:
- 1 large red onion
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Sea salt
Place a large skillet over medium-low heat. While the pan heats, vertically slice your onion. To keep your onions from burning, make sure your slices are about 1/8” thick—this will help prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once you can feel heat radiating off the surface of the pan, add a teaspoon of oil—just enough to coat the bottom and sides—then add the onion slices and season with salt and pepper.
Once the onions being to brown, add the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Slightly reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. You want to end up with very soft, sticky onions that have a rich brown color. Let them cook until they’re just on the edge of mushy—don’t rush it!
Assembling Your Caramelized Onion and Fig Nests
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pie crust (you can make your own with your favorite recipe or use a ready-made one) into as square a shape as possible. Be careful not to let the dough get too thin.
Spread the jam and onions evenly across the dough. You’ll want to use about a cup total, if you over-stuff, the nest will not hold their shape. Once you have an even layer of fig and onions, carefully roll the dough into a tight log.
Use a sharp knife to slice the dough log into ½-inch rounds. You can gently roll the log as you go to prevent it from flattening.
Arrange the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15- 20 minutes, rotating as needed to achieve an even, golden brown color.
This versatile recipe can be easily adapted to suit your needs. The pie crust, fig jam, and caramelized onions can all be prepared ahead of time, meaning these nests can be ready in the time it takes to slice and bake them. If you’d like to keep the prep time even shorter, you can use a ready-made pie crust and your favorite store bought fig jam, rather than making your own.
We like to top these with pine nuts and an extra sprinkling of rosemary. Enjoy!