Monday, August 13, 2012

Pizza Broccoli Rabe

     There's a great sandwich shop not far from here and they make a chicken, broccoli rabe and provolone sandwich that will knock your socks off. My husband and I will usually split a large one and neither of us walk away hungry. I thought of this sandwich when I was shopping today and I came across some beautiful bunches of rabe.
     Broccoli rabe is so freaking full of powerful nutrients it's like it's bigger on the inside than it is on the out side. Kinda like a nutritional tardis! Vitamins K, A, E and C are off the charts; It's also loaded with calcium and iron. Iron, ladies! We all need more iron. It also has protein, yes you can get protein from vegetables. And do I really have to tell you it's got fiber? Oh, and bonus, it's incredible delicious. Much more flavorful then broccoli. Are you out the door on your way to buy rabe right now!? OK, finish reading, then go.
     My idea was to recreate the knock- your-socks-off sandwich but without the chicken (more humane), and make it open face (less carbs). However, what I ended up with was a pizza and a darn good one at that.
     The best way to cook broccoli rabe is to blanch it then saute in olive oil and plenty of garlic. You may be inclined to skip this 2 step process, but believe me this is the best way achieve tender, melt in your mouth broccoli rabe awesomeness.
      For the base I chose whole wheat Naan bread and for the cheese it had to be sharp provolone. I added a grilled red pepper for color and another layer of flavor. If I had had roasted reds on hand I would have saved myself the hassle but I didn't so I couldn't, and it was great anyway. The recipe calls for canned (or jarred) roasted red peppers, but the photos show grilled. Such is life.

Pizza Broccoli Rabe

for the broccoli rabe:

1 bunch (around 12 ounces) broccoli rabe
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Sea salt to taste 
Clean and trim broccoli rabe. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a 4 quart pot and add rabe. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, add garlic. Drain broccoli rabe and rinse in cold water. Drain thoroughly and add to skillet with crushed red pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste, remove from heat and set aside.

for pizza    

1 package whole wheat Naan (two slices)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 more cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
cooked broccoli rabe
1/3 cup roasted red pepper, drained and sliced
4 ounces sharp provolone, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
garlic salt and more crushed red pepper and oregano

Turn broiler on high. Place naan slices on baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped garlic and oregano. Top each slice with broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers and sliced provolone. Cook under the broiler for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with garlic salt, and more crushed red pepper and oregano if desired. Makes 4 servings or 2 if you're really hungry.

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