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Cheddar and Caraway Onion Jam on Sourdough Toast

by Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton, Chris Ammermann from Caravan: Dining All Day

This cheese on toast recipe from is classic combination made extra special: good sourdough bread, flavourful Cheddar, and caramelised onion jam.

From the book

Laura Harper-Hinton, Miles Kirby, Chris Ammermann


This seemingly basic dish gained far more attention on our menus than we ever expected. The three components are equally as important: the toast must be perfect sourdough; the Cheddar must be full of flavour – soft in the middle with a hard, caramelised crust; and the onions in the jam have to be caramelised properly. Bring these three things together and you have a winning dish for any time of the day. The great news is the onion jam can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, making this a super easy and fast dish to pull together.

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4 slices good-quality sourdough
60g mature Cheddar, grated
Small handful chopped chives or parsley (optional)
For the Caraway Onion Jam:
60ml vegetable oil
4 medium white onions, sliced (about 500g)
4 medium red onions, sliced (about 500g)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted
250ml red wine vinegar (we use Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar)
110g light muscovado sugar
¼ tsp cracked black pepper


First make the jam. Gently heat the oil in a medium pan and add the onions and salt. Keeping the heat low, cover the pan with a lid and let the onions cook for about 10 minutes until they have fully softened with some liquid around them.

Increase the heat and bring the liquid to a boil, allowing it to reduce and begin caramelisation. Once the onions start to colour, continue cooking over a medium heat, stirring regularly, so that they brown but do not catch and burn.

Once the onions have turned brown in colour and the oil is beginning to separate from the onion, add the caraway seeds and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and pepper and cook to reduce the liquid and dissolve the sugar.

Once the contents of the pan are dark brown and glossy with no liquid bleeding from them, remove from the heat and cool. This recipe will make more onion jam than you need for 4 slices of toast but it will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

To assemble the dish, toast the sourdough slices while you preheat the grill to high. Put the toast on a baking tray and evenly distribute the grated Cheddar. Put the toast under the grill until the cheese is completely melted, but not browning.

Remove from the grill and spread about 3 tablespoons of onion jam over the top of the melted cheese on each slice. Return to the grill until the cheese is just starting to brown. Serve immediately, scattered with some chopped chives or parsley if you fancy a bit of green.

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by Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton, Chris Ammermann from Caravan


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From the book: Caravan: Dining All Day

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