Have you ever ordered broccolini on a pizza? (No.) Is that a ridiculous question? (Probably.) I’m always on the hunt for interesting veggie pizzas, so I’ve sampled no less than three broccolini pizzas at brick-oven pizzerias.
Broccolini is a hybrid of standard broccoli and Chinese broccoli, with smaller florets and long, thin stalks. Like all members of the brassica family, it’s awesome once roasted. Hence, pizza potential.
First up: I paid an extra three dollars beyond their margherita pizza asking price for the “broccolini” variety. My pizza came out with three broccoli florets scattered on top. It looked like a salad bar hiccuped on my pizza. I still want my three dollars back.
Second place: Broccolini was one of several veggies included. While the tips of it were tasty, the stems were way too tough and I couldn’t eat them without the rest of my slice falling apart.
Third place: Again, one of several veggies, but broccolini totally stole the show. They had evidently blanched the broccoli before using it as a pizza topping, which softened the stems and let broccolini’s full pizza potential shine. Finally!
Here’s a delicious pizza featuring broccolini, with some toasty almonds for a savory crunch. You can leave them off if that seems too weird, but—I’m into it. I also included some feta just to keep things interesting. I kept the sauce super simple by just using hand-crushed canned tomatoes, but I love pizza sauce so I regretted not using marinara sauce. Up to you!
P.s. If broccolini pizza isn’t your thing, look no further.
- 1 batch easy whole wheat pizza dough or 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
- 2/3 cup marinara sauce or one 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 to 3 ounces) crumbled feta
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) broccolini
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Optional garnishes: red pepper flakes and a few fresh basil leaves, torn into little pieces (I forgot)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. If you’re using a baking stone or baking steel, place it in the oven on the top rack. Prepare dough through step 5.
- Spread marinara sauce evenly over the two pizzas, or top with drained, crushed tomatoes (crush the tomatoes over the sink to release excess liquid). Divide the mozzarella, feta and almonds evenly over the pizzas.
- To prepare the broccolini, fill a large saucepan with a few inches of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Trim off the tough ends of the broccolini. Cut any stems greater than about 1/4" in diameter in half. Once the water is boiling, toss in the broccolini, bring back to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Drain the broccolini and pat dry on a lint-free tea towel. Then, toss the broccolini with about 1 teaspoon olive oil, until lightly coated.
- Arrange the broccolini over the pizzas and sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake pizzas individually on the top rack until the crust is golden and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 12 minutes (or significantly less, if you’re using a baking stone/steel—keep an eye on it). Transfer pizza to a cutting board and sprinkle with with red pepper flakes and fresh basil, if using. Slice and serve!