Broccoli, Chard, and Chévre Pizza

broccoli pizza

I might have made the best pizza crust of my life last night.  Not because I employed magic powers, but because I followed the recipe religiously.  It's the same dough I've been making for years, but I'm usually doing it while talking on the phone, getting snacks for kids, or daydreaming about what I'll put on top of the pizza.  My last crust was a disaster--a wet, failed experiment with whole wheat flour. This one rose beautifully in the oven, was crisp on the bottom, and served my (what's new?) purpose of cleaning out the vegetable bin.

Cooking the vegetables separately definitely takes a little more time than throwing olives on top, but if you put raw chard and broccoli on a pizza crust, you'd have one watery, tasteless pie.  I've harped on 15-minute recipes before, but one thing that's often true about them is you don't get layers of flavor.  It's the "get-what-you-pay-for" principle.  So many vegetables don't show their true selves unless they're cooked right.  With a few more minutes and some know-how, you can do crazy things like make a broccoli pizza that you'll want a third piece of.

When I make dough, I always make a enough for two pizzas.  The kids get cheese and Yancey and I get Vegetable Central--I don't even make a salad. Last night was a real fall night, complete with kids coughing and the house getting chilly after 6:00. I have a crazy couple weeks coming up, but I ignored that last night, thankful to be at the kitchen table with my family, Wyatt reporting bits of trivia from school and Loretta getting pizza sauce on every conceivable surface.  And so far, Julian of Norwich's refrain is still loud in these post-retreat days:  "All shall be well."  I hope that for you, too, wherever you are and whatever tasks might be towering over you.  (And you can always bring home a frozen pizza--sometimes that solves a surprising amount of problems.)

slice of broccoli pizza

Broccoli Chard Pizza with Chévre
You can use any dark, leafy green here--kale, collards.  You could use spinach, too, but I'm really partial to the bitter stuff. If you use spinach, make sure you really squeeze the water out of it before you line the dough.  And you could use ricotta instead of chévre and really so many other cheeses.  This was a divine combination, though.

1 recipe pizza dough
2 c. washed broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
squeeze of lemon
6 c. washed chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
olive oil
freshly ground pepper
1 c. shredded whole milk mozarella
1/2 c. shredded parmesan
1/2 c. crumbled chévre

For broccoli:  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 Tb. olive oil.  Throw broccoli in and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until blackened in spots.  Finish with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.  Set aside.

For chard:  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 Tb. olive oil.  Add minced garlic, saute for 30 seconds, then add chard and a pinch of salt.  Saute until cooked down and soft, about 10 minutes.  Drain all the water from it (I usually put a lid over it and tip the pan over the sink) and set aside.

To assemble pizza:  Get your dough ready by following these instructions.  Spread the mozarella as a base, then top with chard and broccoli.  Sprinkle chévre and parmesan over and cook at 500 for about 10 minutes, until crust is puffy and bubbly.