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Open-faced creamed spinach and caramelized onion on focaccia

SERVES 4

2 tablespoons butter

2 large Spanish onions, halved and thinly sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pound fresh spinach, stems removed

1 recipe white sauce (see recipe)

4 6-inch squares of focaccia, halved horizontally and toasted

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for sprinkling)

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook the onions over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle them with sugar and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the onions are meltingly tender.

Meanwhile, rinse the spinach and put it into a large saucepan with just the water that clings to it. Cover with the lid and cook the spinach over high heat for 2 minutes, shaking the pan often, or until the spinach wilts completely. Drain the spinach and rinse it with cold water until it is no longer hot.

With your hands, squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach and chop it coarsely.

Turn on the broiler.

Use a spoon to stir the spinach into the white sauce and warm it until it is bubbling. Season with salt and pepper.

On a rimmed baking sheet, line up the open focaccia. Divide the caramelized onions among them. Top with the creamed spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and slide them under the broiler for 2 minutes or until the sauce has patches of brown on it. Transfer the sandwiches to 4 dinner plates and serve at once.

Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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