This prosciutto, caramelized onion and Parmesan braid is sure to be the center of attention at any meal. It looks as beautiful on the outside as it is tasty on the inside. A braid of mozzarella dough surrounds prosciutto, caramelized onion, garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese. A bit of balsamic vinegar gives the filling a slight bite. Best of all, even though it looks impressive, you don’t need to be a professional baker to make it.
Prosciutto is an Italian ham cured and aged with salt. This aging process results in a rich, concentrated, flavor. The bold flavor of this meat stands up well to the nutty, salty, Parmesan cheese and is accented perfectly with the garlic and caramelized onions. Caramelizing the onion brings out the natural sweetness of the onion and softens the flavors so they don’t overwhelm the other flavors in the dish. Fresh basil tops off the combination and makes it into a filling worthy of a special presentation.
The braid makes a lovely presentation as well as a tasty backdrop for the filling. It’s made of mozzarella dough, so it satisfies the appetite as well as they eye. Be sure to work quickly when you roll out this dough as it rolls out much easier when it is warm. Another trick to working with this dough is to use part-skim mozzarella cheese. Part-skim mozzarella provides a bit more stretch for the dough. I love working with mozzarella dough. It feels almost like old-fashioned yeast bread dough when I knead it.
While it may seem like making the braid is the tricky part of making this dish, the braid is easy. Instead, the biggest challenge is transferring the finished loaf from the baking sheet to the cutting board. Even this isn’t difficult if you transfer it with the parchment paper it cooked on underneath, then gently remove the paper, tearing it if necessary to make removal easier.
This Prosciutto, Caramelized Onion and Parmesan braid makes an elegant dinner. Pair it with a simple salad or soup to make a complete meal. If you like, you can use a bit of olive oil with freshly cracked pepper to dip it in. This is the kind of recipe that makes it easy to forget that it’s keto—but it is, so you can enjoy it guilt-free!
Yields 6 servings of Prosciutto, Caramelized Onion, and Parmesan Braid
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3 oz. prosciutto, sliced thinly
- 2 tsp. fresh basil, minced
- 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, finely grated
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: olive oil, for dipping
1. Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Have two pieces of parchment about 18 inches long, a rolling pin, and a baking sheet set aside. An insulated baking sheet works best for this recipe, but other baking sheets will work as well.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the onions. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until edges are brown and onions have caramelized.
3. Add garlic to the skillet. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Pour balsamic vinegar over the onions and cook until almost completely evaporated.
4. Add prosciutto to the skillet, separating the thin slices as you put them in the skillet. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in basil, then remove skillet from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Prosciutto is salty already, so the addition of salt will probably not be necessary.
5. Prepare a double boiler and bring water in the lower part of the double boiler to a simmer. In the top part of the double boiler, add the mozzarella cheese, the almond flour, and the salt. Stir to evenly distribute.
6. Place the top part of the double boiler containing the almond flour and mozzarella mixture over the bottom part with the simmering water. Heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until the cheese melts and the mixture becomes a dough-like ball. Be careful not to burn yourself with steam escaping from the bottom part of the double boiler. I use a silicone mitt to hold the bowl while I stir.
7. Transfer the mozzarella dough to a piece of parchment paper. Knead it several times to incorporate any stray almond flour into the dough and completely mix the cheese and the almond flour. Pat the dough into an oval shape. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment and roll out into an oblong shape about 14 inches by 9 inches. While rolling the dough out, you may need to straighten the top parchment, then flip the dough over and straighten the bottom parchment. This prevents wrinkles in the dough.
8. Spread the filling along the middle third of the dough, being careful to leave about one third of the dough on both sides. Sprinkle ½ cup of the parmesan cheese over the filling.
9. Cut approximate 1” wide strips down the sides going to where the filling starts. Make sure there is an equal number of strips on each side. Crisscross the strips as shown. Before you get to the end, fold the bottom over the filling and cross the last few strips over top. This gives the loaf a neat and tidy end.
10. Break the egg into a small bowl. Whisk lightly and brush over the bread. (You will not use the entire egg.) Sprinkle the loaf with reserved parmesan cheese and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper on top.
10. Using the parchment the bread is already on, slide bread onto a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until it is golden brown. Let bread cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer it to a cutting board using the parchment. Gently remove parchment from underneath, if desired. Tearing the parchment will make this process easier. Slice and serve hot with olive oil for dipping if desired.
This makes a total of 6 servings Prosciutto, Caramelized Onion and Parmesan Braid. Each serving comes out to be 303 Calories, 23g Fats, 5g Net Carbs, and 21g Protein.
|Prosciutto, Caramelized Onion and Parmesan Braid||Calories||Fats (g)||Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|1 Tbsp. butter||100||11||0||0||0||0|
|1 medium yellow onion||45||0||11||3||8||1|
|1 clove garlic||4||0||1||0||1||0|
|1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar||14||0||3||0||3||0|
|2 tsp. fresh basil||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|3 oz. prosciutto||240||18||0||0||0||21|
|2 cups part-skim mozzarella||640||48||8||0||8||64|
|3/4 cup almond flour||480||42||18||9||9||18|
|1/2 tsp. sea salt||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|9 Tbsp. parmesan cheese||225||14||0||0||0||18|
|1 dash ground black pepper||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Per Serving (/6)||303||23||7||2||5||21|