Brie, Fig, and Onion Panini

These elegant panini sandwiches combine delicious caramelized onions with seasonal fresh figs and melting brie cheese.

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill

1 large red onion, slivered to make 4 cups

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large baguette, 18 inches long

12 medium fresh figs, sliced crosswise into rounds

4 oz. brie, rinds removed


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the bottom of the pan is coated with reduction, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and scrape up reduction with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking, adding water and scraping up browned bits until onions are softened completely and have a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Cut the baguette into four sections, then slice each in half lengthwise, leaving one edge uncut so it opens like a book. Tear out a bit of the middle of the baguette to make room for the filling. In each section, place about 1/4 cup of the onions, 3 sliced figs, and a quarter of the brie. Heat a griddle or large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until the surface is hot. Lightly brush both the tops and bottoms of the sandwiches with olive oil, and place the sandwiches in the hot pan, then place a second pan or heavy pot on top of them. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, turn over and replace the pot. Cook for another two minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly toasted. Serve hot.


Yield: 4 servings