The last time I had broccoli rabe was at Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. It was a late spring day. A celebration of our four year anniversary. We shared plates of homemade pasta and clams and a side of broccoli rabe and garlic. Perhaps this flatbread is somewhat inspired by that simple dish, but more so, it’s much more about needing some kind of comfort food. Pizza is my comfort food.
Sweet potatoes are roasted and baked with fresh smoked mozzarella and parmesan. Broccoli rabe is sauteed in a chile olive oil and garlic. Its bitterness disappears, and all that is left is spicy, garlicky greens. This is one hella flavorful flatbread.
Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Potato Flatbread
serves 2 to 3
1 small sweet potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 bunch broccoli rabe, thick stems trimmed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound whole grain pizza dough
2 cups freshly grated smoked mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange the sweet potato slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until tender but still firm. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 30 seconds. Drain well.
In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant. Add the broccoli rabe and season with salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until stems are tender. Remove pan from the heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin oval. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the smoked mozzarella all over the dough. Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spoon the broccoli rabe mixture on top. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted. Cut into slices and serve.