With its colorful layers, this open-face sandwich is almost too pretty to eat. Don’t let that stop you, though; grab a knife and fork (it’s a little messy to pick up) and have at it. The baking soda and sugar in the onions encourage browning.
In a 5-1/2 -quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute and then less often, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar, baking soda, and 2 Tbs. water, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add another 2 Tbs. water and repeat this process until the onions are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice and a generous pinch salt, leaving some chunky pieces. Divide the avocado among the bread slices, and top with the onions, peppers, pea shoots, and a little flaky sea salt, if you like.
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