This is a fork-and-knife crostini dish that could double as a simple lunch for two. If you can't find mustard essence (also called mustard oil), you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes, adding them to the fennel and onions as they cook to give the mixture a spicy kick.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 8 cipollini onions, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- Juice of 2 oranges
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 drops mustard essence
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 thick slices rustic bread
- 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and onions and saute until browned, stirring to get an even coloring, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, juice, vinegar, and sugar. Simmer and reduce for 5 minutes, just to soften the onions. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the mustard essence. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Brush the extra-virgin olive oil over both sides of each slice of bread. Toast the bread in a skillet over medium-high heat until just golden brown. Season with a bit of salt.
To serve, put a slice of toasted bread on each of 4 plates.
Top each slice with some prosciutto and the fennel and cipollini mixture. Serve immediately.
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