Rapini and Feta Pizza with Red Peppers Recipe

I ate the last of the Christmas cookies—a Spritz and a Russian Tea—the other night. (An honor reserved for the baker.) Whew. I did my part. Sure, there are still other treats lingering from the holidays, but the decadent feast of a table full of goodies to choose from—or take a sampling of all—is over for the season. Now, as good intentions for resolutions are most likely still in play for many of us, an easy thing to do is eat your veggies.

We often hear it is good for us to eat more leafy green vegetables. And while that may mean a salad for lunch or some spinach in lasagna for dinner, there is a vast and varied world of dark, leafy greens called “cooking greens,” which can be bold and sometimes spicy, and are a step beyond the tender lettuces and herbs we eat raw in salads.

One such green, rapini, also known as broccoli raab, is related to the rapeseed plants used to make canola oil. This leafy version of broccoli has sweetness and a touch of bitter that begs for olive oil and garlic, notes local chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. This easy, veggie pizza is just the call to mix in a fresh dose of greens after all the rounds of merry-making during the recent holiday season.

Rapini and Feta Pizza with Red Peppers

Serves 3

1 c. unbleached flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. bread machine yeast
12 tsp. salt
34 c. hot water
1 tsp. honey
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 pound rapini/broccoli raab, trimmed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
12 tsp. red pepper flakes
12 tsp. salt
2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 large roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
   coarse cornmeal for pan

To make dough, mix flours, yeast, and salt in a stand mixer or bowl. Warm water to temperature recommended on yeast package, and stir in the honey and olive oil. Using the dough hook or a spoon, stir in liquids, then knead for 5 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm (not hot) spot.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Drop rapini into water and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water, then wrap in a kitchen towel to dry thoroughly. Place cooled greens on a cutting board and chop.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil briefly, then add garlic and red pepper flakes. When they just start to sizzle, add rapini and toss to coat. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl to cool. When cooled, stir in mozzarella.

Spread cornmeal on a large baking sheet, preferably rimless. Pat out ball of dough to a 12-inch round, then place on cornmeal. Top with rapini mixture, feta and red pepper.

Bake until crust is crisp and cheeses are melted, about 20 minutes (15 for a pre-baked crust). Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 6 slices. Serve hot.

Nutrition information (per serving): Calories 632 (248 from fat); Fat 28g (Sat. 8g); Chol 27mg; Sodium 1248mg; Carb 78g; Fiber 12g; Protein 23g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.