Remember when you couldn't go anywhere—restaurants, parties, barcades, your doctor's office—without the ability to munch on some flatbread? What happened to that? Any culinary anthropologists out there who can help?
As always, notes and tips at the end of the recipe!
PREP TIME: 35 min - 2 hours (you have to caramelize onions and might choose to make your own pizza dough)
COOK TIME: 18 min
TOTAL TIME: totally variable
Serves: 4-6 people
1/2 - 1 red onion, sliced thin
1-2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped/shredded/grated red onion cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (or other soft Italian cheese blend)
Figure out your pizza dough situation first - if you've bought pre-kneaded dough, go ahead and pull it out to rest on the counter. If you're making your own dough, go ahead and do that whole process and return back here once you've started the final resting process.
Preheat oven to 400° F (205 C).
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat. If you're going to use the whole onion, add a heavy 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add the red onion to the pan.**
Once red onions begin to wilt and are uniformly translucent, add the brown sugar. Combine well.
Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. The next part can take up to 20/25 minutes depending on the onion size, volume, pan size, etc. But this is where some culinary *magic* happens!
Once the onions have reached a deep, rich brown color (and the sugar has begun to caramelize), add black pepper to taste and remove from heat and into a heat-safe bowl to cool.
Stretch out the dough and transfer to corn-meal sprinkled baking tray. I advise against rolling as you'll compress and lose any air that the dough has allowed to form in proof time.
Start flatbread construction by brushing the edges of the dough with olive oil.
Continue the build by sprinkling the mozzarella cheese, then the cheddar cheese.
Top with the caramelized red onions and spread for even coverage throughout the flatbread.
Sprinkle with final additional Parmesan.
Cook for 18 minutes, checking at the 15 minute mark first.
When flatbread looks nearly done (edges are beginning to shift from golden to brown, cheese is mostly melted) pull out the flatbread and cover with a layer of prosciutto.
Return to oven for 1-2 more minutes, keeping an eye on the prosciutto. You don't want it crispy, but you do want the fat to start to sweat and melt.
Remove from oven, transfer to cutting board. Cut and consume quickly!
Stages of done-ness on the red onions.
*I recommend making your own, but if you're making a quick fun snack/appetizer/meal with children, Trader Joe's pre-made doughs are great quality and variety.
**Even if you won't use the entire red onion, I recommend caramelizing the entire thing. You can always freeze and save them, if they don't get added to burgers, sandwiches, omelettes before they get moved!
Anyways, I love this flatbread. Red onions are a finicky thing - I really can only tolerate them caramelized. But this flatbread lets the onions become the sweet of the dish. The parmesan and red onion cheddar carry forth the umami savory notes, the prosciutto is the reliable first chair saltist, and the dough brings it all together.
The red onion cheddar can be a hard-to-find-buy, and that's ok! You can easily swap for a regular white cheddar or other soft cheese depend on your flavor preferences.