- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 6 onion, sliced
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 tsp golden caster sugar
- splash of brandy (optional)
Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 300g mature cheddar, sliced
Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…
- watercress and your favourite dressing, to serve
With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…
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.
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.
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