Monday, June 6, 2011

Caramelized onion & apple sandwich with pineapple cashew couscous

Our friend, mixed media artist Sue Bleiweiss, who is the facilitator of the Sketchbook Challenge project, has a little secret:  she is also a trained chef!  Once I found this out I asked her to (please!) submit a favorite dish.  She graciously agreed to do just that.  I hope you will try this yummy-looking entree, and let us know how you liked it!  
Thank you, Sue, for the beautiful food.

Caramelized onion & apple sandwich with pineapple cashew couscous

This caramelized onion and apple sandwich is one of my favorite lunchtime meals. The crunchy apples paired with the sweet and savory onions along combine with the tangy creaminess of the goat cheese to make a deliciously satisfying sandwich. 

1 onion (Vidalia if available)
1 tbls Olive oil
1tsp brown sugar (optional)
1 apple
Spreadable goat cheese
1 tbls walnuts chopped
2 slices of bread

Caramelize the onions: Cut the onion in half and then slice it very thin.

Heat a skillet, add the olive oil and then toss in the onions.  Sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt (if you have it) give them a toss and then turn the heat down to a low to medium flame. 

When you are caramelizing onions the most important thing is not to try to rush the process!  Low and Slow is the secret to bringing out their sweetness and getting them that rich golden brown color.  Give them a toss in the pan every so often so that they cook evenly.  Depending on how thinly you have sliced them the caramelizing process can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. 

Once the onions have cooked down I like to toss in a teaspoon of brown sugar.  This adds color and just a touch bit more sweetness.  Stir in the brown sugar and then set the onions aside while you prepare the rest of the sandwich.

Peel and slice the apple

Spread a little goat cheese on each slice of the bread and then sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.

Add a bit of lettuce and then slices of peeled sliced apple.

Add the caramelized onions.

Top with the other slice of bread.

If you’re not a fan of apples then try this sandwich with sliced pear instead.

Pineapple Cashew Couscous
1 box Near East Couscous Parmesan (or your favorite couscous)
2 cups steamed broccoli (asparagus works nicely here too)
1 or 2 scallions chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/4 cup chopped cashews
Pineapple - 1/2 cup fresh cut chunks if it’s available, if not then a small can of drained canned pineapple chunks will do.

Prepare the Couscous according to the directions on the box.  When it’s done stir in the brocolli, cashews, and pineapple.  Toss to combine, add salt to taste and serve.


  1. Me, too! I'm anxious to try these recipes. Thanks, Sue!

  2. Totally inspirational. I am making a version of this for dinner tonight.