Caramelized Onion and Smoked Gouda Panini Recipe

panini recipe

The onions are the secret to this panini recipe. To truly caramelize them, be patient—drawing the natural sugars out of the onions takes low heat and time. With the addition of smoky Gouda cheese, this luxurious combination is worth the wait.

Makes 2 sandwiches


levain bread, 4 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick
olive oil, 2 Tbsp
large yellow onion, 1, thinly sliced
brown sugar, 1 tsp
balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp
smoked Gouda, 2 oz, coarsely grated


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, 4–5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the onion is very soft and golden, 25–30 minutes more. Stir in the brown sugar and balsamic and cook 5 minutes more. Set the onions aside.

2. Preheat the sandwich grill. Brush 1 side of each bread slice with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil. On 2 of the bread slices, layer the unoiled sides with half of the Gouda and the onions, dividing them evenly. Divide the remaining Gouda on top. Place the remaining 2 bread slices on top, oiled sides up, and press gently.

3. Place the panini in the grill, close the top plate, and cook until the bread is golden and toasted and the cheese is melted, 3–4 minutes. Serve.

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(Weldon Owen), July 16, 2013

Photographs by Maren Caruso