Simone Appetit: Starting the starters |

Simone Appetit: Starting the starters

Simone Grandmain

Yes, it is that time of year again when we begin thinking about the encroaching (not a very nice word) holidays and the entertaining that comes with that territory.

This go-round, why not do a little pre-potluck planning and enter into the festivities with your head held high instead of slinking in and furtively sitting your store-bought seven layer bean dip on the counter?

Over the next couple months I am going to be sharing some applause-worthy appetizers, one at a time, so you will not be overwhelmed by the starter choices and revert back to old behavior — AKA transferring a Costco artichoke dip into one of your pretty bowls and claiming it is "an old family recipe."

This beaut' of an appetizer comes from Kitty, who attended a recent slumber party/food-for-all I hosted. No one would 'fess up during a game of "Truth or Dare" but they did reveal some their secret recipes. Oh well, no juicy blackmail material, but, still, a great appetizer.

Caramelized onions, Gorgonzola and rosemary "pizza"

(Not really a pizza, as it is made on sun-dried tomato basil tortillas, but it is round and cut into slices…)

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2 large sweet onions, halved and sliced thin

1 stick butter

1 tbls. chopped shallots

1 tbls. crushed garlic

1 tbls. brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

2 large sun-dried tomato basil wraps or tortillas

1 tbls. mayonnaise

One 5 oz. container of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from twig and chopped


To caramelize the onions, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, shallots, garlic and brown sugar and reduce to low-medium heat.

For the next 45 minutes cook and flip the onions as they brown/caramelize. You will probably flip them about ten times in the 45 minutes of cooking.

Remove from heat. Spread one side of wraps with a little coating of mayonnaise. Sprinkle with cheese, then onion mixture. Sprinkle on rosemary. Broil for about five minutes, cut into wedges and serve.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen "must-haves" and food news @

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