Pizza w/Broccolini, Ricotta, OlivesIf you have access to fresh pizza dough (I do), the temptation to make pizza is too great. Indeed, heating your oven to 450 degrees on a scorchingly hot summer night is ridiculous, but let’s get beyond that…

Inspired by the recipe for “Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta, and Olives,” from Melissa Clark’s Dinner, Changing the Game, I made my family sweat. And eat.

Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Olives

Makes two 12-inch pizzas

2 8-oz. balls pizza dough, white or whole-wheat, 
purchased or homemade
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Pinch of red chile flakes
8 oz. broccoli rabe, trimmed
Kosher salt to taste
Fine cornmeal, for dusting
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh ricotta
Coarse sea salt to taste
Red chile flakes, for garnish

Heat the oven to 500°F if your broiler unit is in the oven, or to 450°F if your broiler is in a separate drawer. Place a pizza stone or a rimless baking sheet on the middle rack. Allow the oven to heat for 45 minutes.

At the same time, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and brown it all over, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then stir in the chile flakes. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, tossing it frequently, until it is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Season the broccoli rabe with kosher salt, remove it from the skillet, and coarsely chop it along with the garlic, mixing them together.

Turn a rimmed baking sheet upside down (or use a pizza peel if you have one), and dust it generously with fine cornmeal. Working directly on the baking sheet, stretch and pull one of the pizza dough balls to form a 12-inch round. Scatter half of the broccoli rabe and garlic mixture, and half of the olives over the dough. Dollop half of the ricotta on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Jiggle the pizza gently to make sure it is not sticking to the baking sheet or pizza peel, and sprinkle cornmeal under any sticky spots.

Slide the crust off the baking sheet or pizza peel onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. Cook the pizza for 3 minutes. Then turn on the broiler and broil the pizza until it is golden, crisp, and blistered in places, 2 to 4 minutes. (If you don’t have a broiler in your oven, bake the pizza at 450°F until it’s blistered and golden, 10 to 20 minutes.) Using tongs, slide the pizza onto a large platter. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.

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I swapped in broccolini, rather than broccoli rabe, because we like it. The sauteed greens become a garlicky, salty, spicy mass, which is wonderful. As instructed, I sprinkled the fine cornmeal on a pizza peel, then slid my pizza onto the heated pizza stone in that hot oven. Twenty minutes of cooking. Do it.

Pizza Dough (15oz. ball) = $1.43
Broccolini (2 bunches) = $6.60

PREP TIME: oven heats for 45 minutes(!), pizza cooks in 20 minutes
TASTE: creamy ricotta, garlicky greens, crispy pizza crust

Next time, the key word is “Turkish.” Again, from Melissa Clark’s Dinner, Changing the Game, I will cook the “Turkish Lamb Chops with Sumac, Tahini, and Dill” along with the “Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Yogurt and Pumpkin” (recipe below). Wow. Come back to my site next week, to enjoy the crusty spices with me.

Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Yogurt and Pumpkin
Dinner, Changing the Game, Melissa Clark
Serves 4

1 1/4 lbs. pumpkin or winter squash, seeded and sliced into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 3/4 cups coarse bulgur
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
Finely grated zest of 1 tangerine or 1/2 orange
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground Turkish red pepper, such as Aleppo pepper, to taste, plus more for garnish
Plain, preferably whole-milk yogurt
Toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas, for garnish
Chopped fresh dill leaves, for garnish
Coarse sea salt, for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush the squash wedges with olive oil and season them with the salt and pepper. Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning them over halfway through, until they are golden brown and tender, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the variety of squash. Watch them carefully.

Meanwhile, heat the 1 Tbsp. olive oil with 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a 3-qt. pot. When the butter has melted, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the bulgur and allspice, and sauté for 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock and bring it to a vigorous boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the bulgur is tender, all liquid has been absorbed, and thee appear to be holes in the surface of the bulgur, about 15 minutes. Remove he pot from the heat, place a clean dish towel between the top of the pot and the lid, and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to steam.

Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet, and cook until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nut-brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tangerine zest and Turkish red pepper.

To serve, mound the bulgur onto a platter. Arrange the pumpkin on top. Drizzle yogurt and the warm butter mixture over the top. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds, dill, coarse seat salt, and additional Turkish red pepper.