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Makes 42 canapés
¼ cup olive oil
3 lb. mild yellow or sweet onions, halved and sliced paper-thin
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 package frozen puff pastry, 17 oz., thawed 30 minutes at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and small pinch of salt
21 anchovy fillets, soaked for 5 minutes in lukewarm water, drained, patted dry, and halved lengthwise
21 Nicoise black olives, pitted & quartered
In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, ¾ teaspoons pepper, and the thyme, and stir together. Cover and cook very slowly until tender, about 45 minutes. Do not stir too often; a steamy environment is crucial. Uncover the pan and continue to cook gently, now stirring occasionally, until all the excess moisture has evaporated and the mixture resembles a thick jam, about 30 minutes longer.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry 1/8 inch thick, taking care not to crush the edges too much with the rolling pin. Using a long, sharp knife, cut into 4-by-1 ½ inch rectangles. You should have 42 pieces.
Place the rectangles on the lined baking sheet, close together but not touching. Brush each with a little of the egg mixture. Spread a heaping teaspoon of the onion mixture over each pastry rectangle. Lay an anchovy strip down the center and place an olive quarter at each end of the strip.
Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a napkin-lined platter or bowl and serve at once. The canapés are also very good served at room temperature, after 30 minutes.