Chef and author Ruth Gresser, a 20-year veteran of pizza making, writes, “This pie offers a fresh, simple combination of vegetables spiked with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Use this recipe as the base to develop seasonal pizzas to suit your tastes, substituting the freshest vegetables for the time of year in place of the broccoli rabe and cremini mushrooms. Complete the transformation by trying different cheeses as well.”
Makes one 12-inch (30 cm) pizza
4 ounces (115 g) cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 small onion, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch broccoli rabe
4 ounces (115 g) Pecorino Toscano cheese (see page 21)
1 ball Paradiso Pizza Dough (page 27)
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1) Place a pizza stone on the top rack of a cool oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8).
2) Place the mushrooms and onions in a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Toss the onions and mushrooms until they are evenly coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.
3) Turn the mushrooms and onions into a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil or a silicone baking liner. Scatter the vegetables in a single layer in the pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and some pieces show significant browning. Remove the pizza from the oven and cool. You should have about 3⁄4 cup (170 g) of roasted vegetables.
4) Set the oven to broil and preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes.
5) Fill a medium pot two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil. Add salt until it tastes like salted water. Return to a boil.
6) Cut the end off each stem of broccoli rabe. Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and plunge the broccoli rabe into an ice water bath. When cool, drain again and lay on clean kitchen towels to dry.
7) Cut the broccoli rabe into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths.
8) Cut the cheese into 1⁄3-inch (about 1 cm) dice. You should have about 3⁄4 cup (115 g).
9) On a floured work surface, flatten the dough ball with your fingertips and stretch it into a 12-inch (30 cm) round. (See page 13.)
10) Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough round on it. Scatter the mushrooms and onions onto the pizza dough, leaving 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch (1.3 to 2 cm) of dough uncovered around the outside edge. Arrange 1 1⁄2 cups (60 g) of the broccoli rabe pieces evenly on top of the mushrooms and onions (A). Sprinkle with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Scatter the cheese over the pizza. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil.
11) Give the peel a quick shake to be sure the pizza is not sticking to the peel. Slide the pizza off the peel onto the stone in the oven. Broil for 1 minute. Turn the oven temperature to the highest bake setting and cook for 5 minutes. Quickly open the oven door, pull out the rack, and with a pair of tongs, rotate the pizza (not the stone) a half turn. Cook for 5 minutes more.
12) Using the peel, remove the pizza from the oven. Cut into slices and serve.
Photos courtesy Kitchen Workshop Pizza and © MOSHE ZUSMAN PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO, LLC
If you like this recipe, you’ll love Chef Gresser’s Kitchen Workshop Pizza.