broccoli rabe + sweet potato pizza

I love broccoli rabe! There is just something so sophisticated about its bitter flavor. As Susan Russo stated in an NPR article, broccoli rabe is like broccoli’s more attractive cousin. “Svelte, dark green stalks are topped with small, tight clusters of green broccoli flowers and dramatic, spiky leaves.” Gorgeous!

If you’ve never cooked broccoli rabe (pronounced “rob” by the way), you might have seen it at the store and thought what a rip off it was because it has very few florets, unlike broccolini, which is all tender stalks and florets. But broccoli rabe (also called rapini) is coveted for its complex flavored stems and leaves – the tiny florets are just a bonus. Its signature bitter flavor pairs well with salty dishes so you will often see garlicky sides of it served at Italian restaurants or tossed into a pasta with sausage or white beans.

I love pairing it with sweet potato. Besides being a sweet contrast, sweet potatoes have a robust flavor that really stands up to the bitterness of the rabe. And on a pizza with salty pecorino? The flavors just dance around in your mouth!

ready for the oven

broccoli rabe + sweet potato pizza


1 small ball fresh mozzarella cheese

1 bunch broccoli rabe

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 pound raw pizza dough, at room temperature for at least 20 minutes

1/2 sweet potato, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees or whatever your pizza dough requires. Oil a rimless baking sheet; set aside. Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/2-inch thick slices; drain on paper towels until ready to use. I failed to do this and my cheese released a lot of water  and created puddles while in the oven. Not a huge deal, but I think we can prevent this.

Trim about 1-inch off the broccoli rabe stems. Coarsely chop remaining leaves and florets to make 3 cups. If you have more than 3 cups, dispose of the thicker stems. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil until hot. Add garlic and red pepper; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook and stir until bright green and stems are fork tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place pizza dough on oiled baking sheet. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll from the center of the dough outward in all directions until the dough is a 10-12 inch circle or as thin as you prefer. Remember, the dough will puff in the oven so it can never be too thin. With a pastry brush, brush on the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Arrange cheese slices on dough, leaving about a 1-inch border. Cover cheese with sweet potato slices and broccoli rabe; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pecorino cheese. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 9-12 minutes.



3 thoughts on “broccoli rabe + sweet potato pizza

  1. Pingback: Week 15; September 29, 2011 « Turnip Rock Farm – Community Supported Agriculture

  2. Pingback: Must-Read Blog Posts: Game Day Recipes « (the Alpha version)

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