8 slices thin white bread (Pepperidge Farm is recommended)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small green apples
4 to 6 ounces aged Gouda
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard, apple butter or chutney
1/2 bunch watercress
8 thin slices prosciutto
Freshly cracked black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring water, vinegar and brown sugar to a boil.
Add the onions and remove
from the heat. Cover, and set aside until the onions come to room temperature.
Trim the crusts from the bread and cut the bread into thirds, for 3 rectangles
Lightly brush both sides of the bread pieces with olive oil and lay
out on a baking sheet.
Toast in the oven until just crisp and lightly brown,
about 5 minutes. Cool.
To assemble: Quarter, core, and very thinly slice the apple, (a mandolin
is terrific for this).
Very thinly slice the cheese into triangles or shards
that will fit nicely on the bread.
Place a dab or smear of mustard on the bread.
Place a piece of apple, cheese and 1 or 2 sprigs of watercress on each piece
of toasted bread.
Wrap a small piece of prosciutto around each stack to make
a neat package.
Top with a little bit of the pickled onions, a drizzle of olive
oil and freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve at room temperature.
Do ahead tips: Toast the bread ahead, and thinly slice the apple, placing apple
slices in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. If you need to assemble
the sandwiches ahead, don't add the watercress, and cover them with a very light
moistened paper towel.