Lunch. If you are like me, lunch is a dreaded word. Its so . . . curious. I know exactly what to eat for breakfast. Fruit. Yogurt. Granola. Dinner involves protein and root vegetables whipped into sides. Lunch is this strange meal in the middle of the day, when I am busiest. And usually away from home. So it has to be portable. Ugh. Lunch is such a drag.
If you are shaking your head in agreement at this point, I’m assuming you are also like me and resort to salads and sandwiches for your common lunch fare. While I have nothing against salads and sandwiches, they can get a bit . . . mundane. I decided liven up my lunchtime and take my Moroccan kick to the sandwich department.
I do not know what it is about Moroccan spice mixture that makes everything delicious, but I will not argue with it. In fact, I’ve been slathering it on a lot lately. This open-face sandwich takes the cake. Essentially, it is just a layer of neufchatel on crusty bread, topped with mezgaldi.
The topping is really what makes it great. Mezgaldi is a Moroccan onion mixture. Actually, it is commonly referred to as a “mezgaldi of onions”. Basically, it is onion baked in a deliciously spicy marinade. It has a nice kick, which is why I paired it with neufchatel cheese. The cheese has a nice calming effect on the onion. Neufchatel is very similar to cream cheese. In fact, cream cheese or mascarpone would work well with this dish, too.
Mezgaldi is commonly eaten as a side or main dish. I made quite a bit of it and had leftovers, so I decided to make it into a sandwich. The recipe is from a fellow blogger, Kayotic Kitchen. Make the dish and enjoy. Use the leftovers for the sandwich for lunch the next day. You will be happy I shared this with you.
Mezgaldi of Onions
4 medium-sized onions (I actually only used 3 larger ones)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
3 Tbs oil
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice onions. It is alright to have rather large slices of onion, especially if they are a sweet onion like Vidalia. They will be roasting for a while, so its good to make slices approximately 1 inch thick.
Mix spices and oil together in a small bowl. Brush this mixture on both sides of each onion slice. Place onions in a baking dish. It is fine to layer them, as, again, they will be roasting in the oven for a while. Pour the leftover mixture over the onion. Sprinkle the 2 Tbs of water down the sides of the baking dish. This will allow the onions to steam in their sauce.
Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake approximately 45 minutes. Onions will be done when they are soft.
Halfway through cooking, take the onions out halfway through the cooking process and spoon the sauce on the bottom of the pan back over the onions. Then, sprinkle the sugar over the top of the onions to help carmelize them. Make sure each onion gets a little sugar on top! Cover up with the foil and cook until done.
Some people suggest cranking the heat for the last 10 minutes to help with carmelization. If you do, I would suggest taking the aluminum foil off. Enjoy!