We’re not saying broccoli rabe pizza is going to replace sausage pizza in your heart and appetite. But the hearty and healthy vegetarian option is drawing raves from everyone we know, especially when made with a whole-wheat crust.
Do I need to cook the broccoli rabe first?
Our recipe instructs you to dip the broccoli rabe in boiling water but only for a couple minutes. Blanching the broccoli rabe like this ensures it’s tender by the end of the pizza’s short baking time and also tones down the bitterness of the Italian vegetable so everything—vegetable, olives, cheese, chile flakes, crust—are perfectly in balance with on one ingredient screaming louder than the rest.
Broccoli Rabe and Olive Pizza
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- Serves 2 to 3
Special Equipment: Baking stone; pizza peel (optional)
Position an oven rack in the lowest position and slide a baking stone onto the rack. Preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C) or whatever its highest temperature and let it heat for at least 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down and gently turn it out onto your work surface. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and let it meld for 30 minutes to let the flavors harmonize.
Bring a large pot 3/4 full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain under cold running water. Gently squeeze as much water as you possibly can from the broccoli rabe and then roughly chop it into bite-size pieces.
Working quickly, spread the cheese evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch (2-centimeter) border uncovered. Top evenly with the broccoli rabe and the olives. Brush the plain border with some of the seasoned oil and then drizzle with more oil. Immediately slide the pizza from the peel onto the baking stone.
Bake until the crust is crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, brush the edge of the crust with any remaining oil, and slice. Serve immediately. Originally published February 24, 2016.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This broccoli rabe pizza was one of the easiest and most satisfying dinners I've had in quite a while. The flavors, textures, and looks of this pizza are phenomenal. And, on top of that, the recipe worked perfectly as written. Absolutely a keeper.
I used Trader Joe's whole-wheat pizza dough ($1.19), which worked wonderfully. I think this pizza needs the somewhat more rustic flavor and feel of whole-wheat dough, so I probably won't try it with a plain white-flour dough. My bunch of broccoli rabe weighed in at 600 grams, so I didn't use the whole bunch but rather 3/4 pound, and it was the perfect amount. And 8 ounces cheese seemed too much for me, so I used only 6 ounces, which was absolutely enough. I boiled the broccoli rabe for exactly 3 minutes, and it was nice and tender. Baking time at 525°F was exactly 8 minutes.
Seldom have I had a recipe work so perfectly. I'm a fan!
Boy, was this a super tasty pizza and a gorgeous one at that! It was picture-perfect coming out of the hot oven—the crust was lightly browned around the edges, crisp yet tender in the middle, and the melted mozzarella cheese, garlic oil, tender broccoli rabe, and briny olives were a wonderful flavor combination. We adored this pizza and, frankly, couldn't eat it fast enough. It fed 3 (hungry) people.
I used our favorite white-flour pizza dough from our local market, and the weight of the head of broccoli rabe was right at 1 pound. I liked the idea of making a garlic-chile oil and drizzling it over the pizza—it added a nice spice and flavor to the pizza's base. I am a huge garlic fan, so I could even see adding more than 1 clove to the pizza next time I make it. Yes, the broccoli rabe only took about 2 minutes to become tender; it's important to watch it because you don't want it too soggy coming out of the hot water.
At 550°F, the pizza was perfectly cooked at right about 10 minutes. I didn't use a baking stone, just a cornmeal-sprinkled, parchment-covered large baking sheet.
We adored this pizza and could hardly wait for it to cool before slicing into it. Great recipe!