Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Recipes with James Beard: Onion Sandwiches

photo credit: Kait Hoehne

photo credit: Kait Hoehne

When James Beard entered the culinary scene, he found most hors d’oeuvres completely uninteresting and lacking in elegance. In order to spruce things up, he developed recipes like his famous onion sandwiches – light, flavorful palate pleasers that left his guests delighted. This recipe was originally published by the James Beard Foundation on their site.

“Designing hors d’oeuvres is not different from designing sets and costumes . . . Food is very much theater.” – James Beard

Onion Sandwiches

YIELD: 12 Sandwiches

– Loaf brioche or challah
– 6 to 8 small white onions, peeled, sliced thinly
– 1 bunch parsley, chopped finely
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– Salt to taste

Cut brioche or challah into thin slices, and cut these into rounds with a biscuit cutter. Spread the rounds of bread with mayonnaise, top half of them with slices of onion and salt well. Top these halves with the remaining rounds, and press them together firmly. Roll the edges in mayonnaise and then chopped parsley. Chill in the refrigerator several hours before serving.

Major funding for James Beard: America’s First Foodie is provided by Feast it Forward. Additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Works.


Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.