Sweet Onion-Lemon Butter Canapes

Makes 32 or 64 canapes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 pound butter (8 tablespoons), at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons full-flavored honey
  • 1 rectangular loaf (about 8 by 5 inches) firm dark bread (not sliced)
  • 1 large sweet/mild onion, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons minced dill
  • Pepper
  • Coarse sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
  • Scrub lemon. Grate zest. Combine in bowl with butter and honey and whip with wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Halve lemon and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice. Whip into butter, a teaspoon at a time.

  • With sharp bread knife, slice crust from all sides of the loaf, trimming to make a neat rectangle. Cut lengthwise into slices about 1/4 inch thick (8 long rectangles). Lay 4 slices side by side on each of two cutting boards. Scoop a tablespoon of butter onto each slice. With flexible spatula, spread evenly to edges. Chill.

  • Quarter onion, cutting through "poles." Cut lengthwise into thin slices. Arrange 4 slices on each long bread slice to nearly cover, leaving a little space between onions. Sprinkle a stripe of dill down the center of each long slice. Press bread rectangles tightly together to make a single-layer rectangle (about 16 by 7 inches). Cover each with wax paper. Press down with a rolling pin to flatter slightly. Chill until serving time.

  • To serve, grind over pepper and sprinkle with salt. Cut each long slice into 4 sections, cutting between onion for tidiness. Halve each if you like small canapes. Serve at once, so the salt remains crunchy.

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