Melty onion toasts

Make the onion topping for this simple gastropub-style starter up to two days ahead

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 412
  • fat 25g
  • saturates 15g
  • carbs 32g
  • sugars 9g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 17g
  • salt 1.46g


  • 50g butter
  • 6 onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • splash of brandy (optional)
  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • 300g mature cheddar, sliced
  • watercress and your favourite dressing, to serve


The brandy is optional – don’t buy a bottle especially for the recipe, but if you’ve got some in the cupboard, it’s definitely worth adding just a slug.Choosing your cheddar
Inspired by a dish from Cheltenham's The Royal Well Tavern, this simple starter works best when you use a cheese with bite – a Keen’s or Montgomery cheddar would be perfect


  1. Heat the butter in a sauté pan, add the onions, then sprinkle over the sugar. Sweat the onions for 20 mins over a medium heat, stirring them occasionally, until sticky and golden. Add the brandy, if using, reduce down to nothing, then season to taste. This onion topping can be made 2 days ahead and kept covered.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toast the bread, spread the onions over, then top with slices of cheese. The toasts can be made up 1 hr ahead. Place on a baking tray, then bake for 15 mins until bubbling and golden. Serve each piece of toast on a plate with a sprig of dressed watercress next to it.

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