I haven't had broccoli too many times in my life. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the amount of times that I've eaten it. Now, that isn't to say that I don't like it. No, no, no. That isn't the case at all. It's just that rapini was never something that my parents cooked, so I guess it just never became a part of my personal food culture.
For a while now, I've been playing off and on with an raw food service that offers delivery of organic whole groceries directly from their farmers and/or local businesses to your house. Pretty nifty, right? Well, I always like to get their 'local box' which is loaded with different local seasonal produce each week. It's fun because I have gotten a lot of interesting new things to try. It's a fun little challenge for me as a home cook.
What can I say? I watch a lot of Chopped.
This past week I got broccoli rabe in my local box, so I immediately started to look up rapini preparation. It seemed like it was most often cooked similarly to collard greens but had more of a spinach usage. So I figured... when it doubt, put it on a pizza!
We eat a lot of pizza in this house, but I always do my best in trying to keep it whole wheat and with a handful (or two) of veggies on it. While I tend to use my own easy homemade crust, you could really use any crust you want. Just know that it will change the nutritional information.
I decided that I hadn't had a white pizza in a while, so I left this pizza rather sauce-less and gave it it's needed moisture with the creaminess of fat free ricotta.
If you're feeling super bold, as I was with leftover the next day, feel free to add a fried egg on top of this pizza. I promise, you won't be sorry that you did!
As you can see, the end result was amazingly delicious. Homemade pizza is always a million times better than anything that comes prepared or has to be ordered. Yes, the dough does take about 10 minutes to prepare, but it's always well worth it.
Plus, it's a lot cheaper and way more healthy than anything pre-made.
Whole Wheat Broccoli Rabe & Ricotta White Pizza
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 Slice • Calories: 211.3 • Fat: 9.1 g • Carb: 17.7 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Protein: 10.4 g • Sugar: 0.9 g • Sodium: 386.1 mg
1/2 C. + 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1 Pkg. (2 1/4 Tsp.) Pizza Crust or Quick Rising Yeast
3/4 Tsp. Sugar
3/4 Tsp. Natural Sweetener (Stevia, Truvia, Etc.)
3/4 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Seasoning Blend (I used a homemade Italian.)
2/3 C. Steaming Hot Water
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, Stemmed & Chopped
1 C. Reduced Fat Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
1/2 C. Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and lightly coat a pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Combine 1/2 c. of the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, yeast, sugar, sweetener, salt, and seasoning into a large bowl together until well blended.
Pour in the hot water and oil and mix together until well blended; about one minute.
Add in another 1/4 c. of all-purpose flour gradually until the dough starts to form into a ball.
Additional flour may be added if needed to handle, but you do want the dough will be soft and sticky.
Transfer the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead on the floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic; about four minutes.
Roll the dough out to form your crust.
Carefully transfer the crust to the prepared pizza pan; set aside.
I don't really make a 'crust' on mine since it sorta does it on it's own.
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the broccoli rabe into the pot to cook for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to become tender and turn bright green.
Immediately transfer to a colander to drain and rinse with cold water.
Squeeze the broccoli rabe with a paper towel to remove any excess water and transfer to a small skillet along with the minced garlic and 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil.
Saute over medium heat for another 1-2 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside.
Top your prepared crust with the remaining 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil.
Evenly top with the shredded cheese and broccoli rabe.
Scoop the ricotta out onto the pizza and season with salt, pepper, and crushed pepper flakes (if desired.)
Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the crust are brown and crisp.
I actually like to take mine off the pan to set directly on the oven rack for the last couple of minutes because I like a very crisp crust!
Cut evenly into 10 slices and serve right away. Enjoy!