Spicy White Pizza with Broccoli Rabe
Generally speaking, there’s no such thing as a bad pizza. That being said, not all pizzas are created equal, and this one, if we do say so ourselves, is a cut above the rest. Topped with truffled white sauce, broccoli rabe, sundried tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers, among other delicious fixin’s, this is a homemade pie to rival your favorite pizza place’s specialties. The best part is, you won’t have to spend your whole evening working on it, leaving you time to savor every delicious bite.
Recipe by Laura Wright
Laura is the author of The First Mess, a highly-awarded vegan food blog with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. You can find her work on The Huffington Post, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, and a number of other media outlets. Her first cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook was released by Penguin Random House in 2017.
Truffled White Sauce:
- 3/4 cup cooked white beans
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp white truffle oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Toppings & Assembly:
- 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, stems removed & chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra
- 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb pizza dough at room temp
- flour, for dusting
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 3-4 picked pepperoncini peppers, sliced
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 1 sprig oregano, leaves chopped
1. Lay a pizza stone on the bottom rack of a cold oven, ensuring that there’s enough clearance above to transfer the pizza. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
2. Make the truffled white sauce: in an upright blender combine the white beans, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, truffle oil, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. The consistency should be similar to that of a creamy salad dressing: thick, but drips off of a spoon. Set aside.
3. Fill a large saucepan or deep skillet/braiser with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Place the chopped broccoli rabe into the water and cook for 1 minute. Drain the broccoli rabe and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Dry the broccoli rabe with paper towels and set aside.
4. Wipe out the saucepan/braiser and set it back over medium-high heat. Pour in the Tbsp of olive oil. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms to the pan. Let them sear for 1 minute. Stir them up and add the paprika and garlic. Let the mushrooms sear for another full minute. Season with salt and pepper and stir. They should be glistening and soft. Take the mushrooms off the heat, scrape them into a bowl, and set aside.
5. Dust your working surface and a pizza peel with flour. Start stretching out the dough until you have a 12-inch circle of even thickness. Carefully transfer the dough circle to the floured peel.
6. Top the pizza with the truffled white sauce, broccoli rabe, shiitake mushrooms, shallots, pepperoncini peppers, sundried tomatoes, and oregano.
7. Jiggle the pizza peel to ensure that the pizza will come loose. If it’s sticking, carefully lift up the edges and toss in a bit more flour until it seems to loosen from the peel.
8. Open the oven and with equal measures of care and efficiency, slide the pizza off of the peel and onto the hot stone with a few flicks of your wrist. Close the oven immediately.
9. Let the pizza cook for 7 minutes. Open the oven and, using the peel, rotate the pizza. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the top crust is browning in spots and you can see some light char on the mushrooms.
10. Remove the pizza from the oven. Give the pizza a light drizzle of olive oil before slicing and serving.
COOK’S NOTES: If you don’t have a pizza stone/pizza peel, I would recommend preheating the oven to 450°F instead and heating a half sheet pan in there for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and pour a drizzle of olive oil into it. Move the oil around with a pastry brush or spatula, then quickly and carefully transfer your stretched out dough to the sheet pan. You should hear a sizzle. Top the pizza and proceed with baking, checking the pizza after 15 minutes and cooking it longer if necessary.
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