One thing I’m darn good at as The Smart Cookie Cook is making food that seems fancy and time-consuming but is actually simple and doable, like these Caramelized Onion Eggplant Fontina Bites with Optional Balsamic Drizzle. They already SOUND fancy, right? Then you look at them and think they belong in a 5-star restaurant.
But don’t be fooled; these Caramelized Onion Eggplant Fontina Bites are actually a spin-off of my extremely popular Caprese Bites. Those crowd-pleasing cuties couldn’t be much easier, and I couldn’t resist playing with that idea to create different flavor profiles.
I believe that caramelized onions are the rainbow sprinkles of savory toppings. They make everything better! Even people who don’t like onions can’t resist those succulent little devils because they’re so sweet and flavorful.
Then we’ve got one of meltiest cheeses, Fontina, acting as a bed for these toppings, oozing like lava as soon as you bite in. Don’t even try to talk to me while I’m eating these because a) I’m too busy processing three of my favorite things at once, and b) my mouth is full because I’ll insist on taking these on in one single bite.
What can I say, I like a challenge.
Go wow the world with these Caramelized Onion Eggplant Fontina Bites. I encourage you to act exceptionally dramatic and tired when you set them on the table, like you’ve been slaving away over them.
They’ll totally buy it.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You can definitely make your own breaded eggplant for this if you’re feeling motivated.
- For a pop of freshness, try a few sprinkles of fresh basil.
- Other great cheese to try would be fresh mozzarella or gruyere. Pick something that’s mild and melts well.
- These stay delicious even as they cool and come to room temperature, so they’re a great appetizer for setting out at a party.
- Because balsamic vinegar is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing, I suggest doing one of two things: you can only drizzle half the bites with it, or leave it out, off to the side for people to put on their own bites.
- You will need to flour your surface to roll out this dough, or it is way too sticky to work with.
- Caramelizing onions requires patience. To achieve caramelization, you need a low heat, which means a longer cook time. Stay with it, and stir occasionally to create the perfect onions.
Caramelized Onion Eggplant Fontina Bites with Optional Balsamic Drizzle
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield – about 4 dozen
- 1 large yellow onion + 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 1 box Dominex breaded eggplant
- 2 cans store-bought crescent roll dough (store brand is fine)
- 8 oz. Fontina cheese, cubed into ¼-inch pieces
- Balsamic vinegar
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. The onions will start to sizzle and turn golden. Occasional stirring will allow them to brown evenly. Once they’re tender, reduced in volume, and a rich brown color, they’re ready. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bake eggplant in oven according to box directions. Chop cooked eggplant into small pieces. Set aside.
- Spray two mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Flour your working surface. Separate crescent dough according to perforated lines then flour the top of each piece of dough as well. Roll dough as thin as you can without tearing, then slice each section into three smaller sections.
- Place a piece of dough in each tin and gently mold to the shape of the tin. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 6 minutes then place a piece of cheese in each, pressing down into the dough. Return to oven for another 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and crust is golden.
- Use a knife to work around the edge of each bite and gently remove from pan. Sprinkle each bite with a generous bit of finished onions and eggplant. Drizzle a light bit of balsamic vinegar over top, if desired. Serve immediately.