Open-faced Manchego Cheese and Fig Sandwich

1/4 cup sweet, white wine such as Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

6 black mission figs, cut in half

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 cups sliced onions, 1/4-inch thick

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 slices organic multi-grain bread, toasted

3 ounces shaved manchego cheese

Fleur de sel

In a small saucepan, heat the Muscat to warm and pour it over the fig halves in a bowl. Let figs stand 30 minutes to marinate.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sliced onions, then stir in the sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and slowly cook until onions are golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep onions warm.

Brush both sides of the bread slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Grill until lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes, then turn and toast 1 to 2 minutes on other side. Keep warm.

Drain figs and place them on a paper towel. Brush cut side of figs with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and put figs cut-side down on a heated grill pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned. Turn figs and grill another 2 to 3 minutes until figs are tender yet retain their shape.

Divide warm caramelized onions onto toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Top with the shavings of manchego. Put sandwiches under broiler just until cheese begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes.

Top each sandwich with three fig halves and a sprinkle of fleur de sel on each fig. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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