Sunday, December 28, 2008

pizza with broccoli rabe and roasted onions

broccoli rabe pizza

It’s not even January 1st yet and I’m already feeling the tug of healthier eating… or perhaps, more likely, a rejection of the butter and braise bender I’ve been on since Thanksgiving. Wait long enough to step up to the healthier plate and I think your body will do it for you; in my days off, I have only craved three things: greens, carrots and oranges. Okay, four if you count French toast from LeGrainne Cafe. But in my defense, they serve it with toasted almonds and a slice of orange and that’s healthy right? Right? [A pin drops.]

rapinipitting the olivescooked raberaab pizza, ready to bake

Well then. I think of homemade pizza as one of those perfect bridge foods, not excruciatingly unhealthy and yet it can be downright earnest if you do it right. We made Alice Waters’s Pizza with Broccoli Raab, Roasted Onion and Olives for dinner on Friday and it was delightful — chock full of greens with just enough indulgence (half a cup of cheese and a thin pizza crust) to have me vowing I would make it again, like this week, before we’d even finished our first slice.

onions roasting

This pizza also marks a tiny, silly triumph for me, and hopefully my first step on the road to liking broccoli rabe, something everyone in the world seems charmed by but me. I generally find it too tough (in an al dente kind of way) and too bitter for me, but here, contrasted with cheese, onions roasted until they’re sweet and briny, lightly crisped olives its bitterness was finally balanced out by its surroundings. I wish it were always this way.

rabe pizza slice

Pizza, previously: We are a little bit obsessed with pizza here at the Smitten Kitchen, so no pizza recipe on this site would be complete without a tour of the pizza madness that has come before it. First, there are two dough recipes on the site, a Really Simple Homemade Pizza Dough and a slightly stepped-up one that includes a splash of wine and honey. There’s also a post that includes lots of pizza-making tips in one place: 10 Paths to Painless Pizza Making. Beyond that, there are a ton of untraditional pizza recipes in the archives, from a Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza to an Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza, not to mention a Potato Pizza, which is exactly as transcendent as you would expect from carbs topped wtih carbs topped with rosemary, olive oil and sea salt. Check out the full list here, and don’t be surprised if you never order pizza delivery again.

One year ago: Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles
Two years ago: Gougères and Roasted Mushrooms Stuffed With Feta, Spinach and Bacon

Party Food! I’ve organized all of the foods I wish you’d serve at a cocktail party and then invite me over in one place. I hope to add more to that list before New Years Eve. Planning a New Years Day Brunch? We’ve got some ideas for you there, too. [Party Food + Breakfast Ideas]

Pizza with Broccoli Raab, Roasted Onions and Olives
From Chez Panisse Vegetables

Makes one 12-inch pizza

1 medium yellow onion
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 sprig thyme (optional)
1 bunch broccoli raab (aka broccoli rabe or rapini)
1 clove garlic
1 pinch hot pepper flakes
Pizza dough for one recipes (super-simple recipe here and an almost as simple recipe here)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
16 niçoise olives, pitted
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Dice the onion and toss it in a small ovenproof sauté pan with a pinch of salt and enough olive oil to coat lightly, and the leaves of the thyme. Put the pan in the oven to roast, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked and golden, about 30 minutes.

While the onion is roasting, wash and drain the broccoli raab, remove the heavy stems, and roughly chop the leaves and sprouts into coarse chiffonade. There should be enough to make about 2 cups. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat a large sauté pan and coat it with olive oil. Ad the broccoli raab, season with salt, pepper, and the hot pepper flakes, and fry over high heat until the broccoli raab is tender. Add the garlic and fry, tossing, for a few seconds.

When the onions are done, take them out of the oven and turn the heat up to 450° to 500°F. Put a pizza stone in the oven. Roll out of shape a 12- to 14-inch disk of pizza dough and slide it onto a floured pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, leave a 1/2-inch boarder dry. Evenly sprinkle the cheese on the oiled surface,spread the onions over, and top with the broccoli raab and the olives. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone in the oven and bake from 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is brown and crisp. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on it, slice and serve.


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