It was not until recently that I became obsessed with adding greens onto my pizza. I grew up with pizza consisting of cheese, pepperoni and sauce–no deterring from the norm. However, greens add a nutritional note to your dishes without unnecessary calories and pair well with a variety of ingredients. For instance, broccolini chicken pizza is a sweet and savory combination. The sweet, citrus ricotta paired with the vibrant greens and mouthwatering chicken brings heavenly flavors to my tummy. The recipe shows me that greens and creativity bring delicious meals to the table.
Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thinner stalks. It is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli, developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. Broccolini is also known as asparation, asparations, bimi, broccoletti, broccolette and tenderstem. The entire vegetable is consumable, including theoccasional yellow flower. Common cooking methods include sauteeing, steaming, boiling and stir-frying. Its flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus, although it is not closely related to the latter. Nutritionally, it is high in vitamin C and contains vitamin A, calcium and iron.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- I used broccolini. It is one of my favorite vegetables, but it can be hard to find in grocery stores. Take advantage while you can!
- I nixed the lemon zest because I had bottled lemon juice only. The zest helps the acidity and adds a fresh note to the pizza.
- I used a pre-made crust and adjusted the cooking times; however, soon after I found out that Trader Joe’s has whole-wheat pizza dough. (Shout out to Charlie Mai for letting me know it existed!)
- I suggest nixing the oil in half. I felt the oiled pizza crust made it soggy and was unnecessary fat in your diet. Save those calories for something you really want–like dessert…heehee.
- Ricotta is thick and grainy. Mixing it with lemon juice helps soften the cheese, and it becomes similar in texture to pesto.
- I cleaned my chicken breast of the fatty deposits and chopped them evenly. You need the pieces small enough to cook through without overcooking your broccolini.
- Pile the toppings onto the crust; I had enough topping to make two pizzas.
- Baking the pizza with the toppings facilitates the process of creating an adhesion between ingredients and melting the ricotta.
- I suggest cooking the chicken until just about done on the stovetop. This method will allow the chicken to continue cooking while preparing the pizza and again in the oven without overcooking it creating a dry, juiceless texture.
The topping alone contains vast amounts of flavor. Adding those flavors to the top of a delicious bread and we have a winner. The pizza adds a variety to your daily routine. You can still enjoy the normalcy of pizza with a twist. Incorporating broccolini onto circular bread is a great way to trick little ones, or yourself, into eating their greens.
Leave a comment with your favorite pizza recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.