Pizza and Pasta Produce Uncategorized Vegetarian

My Favorite Broccoli White Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust

Broccoli White Pizza

I must admit. I am a total broccoli addict. I eat broccoli every day. Roasted. Steamed. With cheese melted over it on a potato and this way: on a white pizza. This is pretty guilt free. As long as you don’t eat half the pizza, like I sometimes do. But because low-fat ricotta stands in for most of the cheese, the calorie count on this dish is not terrible.

I was first introduced to white pizza in college outside of Philadelphia. Renato’s in Swarthmore used to make an awesome pizza with ricotta, Mozzarella, and lots of garlic. I’m pretty sure there was broccoli on that one too. So basically, I wanted to recreate that pizza here.

I’ve been eating this broccoli pizza almost once a week for about a month now, so I figured it was time to do a post.

I use freeze-dried garlic in this recipe, because it’s so much faster to just sprinkle it over the pizza, than it is to chop fresh garlic. The flavor is great. I don’t miss the fresh garlic at all. I use Litehouse brand, but you can find this other brand at Amazon:

You can make the crust yourself, as I used to do a lot (I just realized I’ve never posted by pizza dough recipe, which is weird), but lately, I’ve just been buying whole wheat pizza dough at the grocery store. Mollie Stone’s now carries Il Fornaio pizza dough in the frozen section. It tastes just like my homemade version, so I’ve been hard pressed to go to all the trouble of making it from scratch. Just make sure that you let the dough sit out long enough to come to room temperature, because if you’re not careful, you can run into the problem of having the toppings cook before the dough is ready, and then it just sticks to the pizza pan like crazy.

To help with making sure the pizza doesn’t stick, I use a nonstick, perforated pizza pan like this one available at (just click on it). I also spray it with a little nonstick spray:

Broccoli Pizza Slice


Broccoli White Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
White pizza with lots of broccoli and garlic
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 1 package of pizza dough (I use whole wheat)
  • Semolina or whole wheat flour to handle the dough
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon freeze-dried garlic
  • ¾ cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 500˚F
  2. If you have purchased frozen pizza dough, make sure it thaws overnight. Then let it rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes before shaping it into a pizza.
  3. While the pizza dough is resting on the counter, you can steam the broccoli. Put the florets in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of rapidly boiling water. Steam for 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully. When the broccoli is ready, it will be bright green still, and tendercrisp. It is better for it to be undercooked than overcooked. Remove from the heat and drain completely. Then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain again. Pour the broccoli out onto some paper towels. You don't want to transfer any water to the surface of the pizza.
  4. When you are ready to shape the dough, put a couple of tablespoons of flour (semolina or wheat) onto a large cutting board. Coat the dough ball with the flour. Flatten the ball into a disc. Then with your fingertips, work your way around the edges, stretching it all out as you go. Put your fist in the middle of the growing circle and let the sides stretch down. Move your arm up and down to help it stretch out. Then work your fingers around the edge of the circle one more time.
  5. Spray the pizza pan with a little nonstick cooking spray and spread the circle of dough onto the pan. With the back of a spoon, spread the ricotta evenly over the pizza. Then sprinkle with the dried garlic. Arrange the broccoli pieces over the surface evenly. Sprinkle with the Mozzarella. Season with salt.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully. If the cheese starts to brown too quickly (before the crust has had a chance to brown), back off the heat a little bit. When the cheese and the crust are just starting to brown, remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Then slice and serve immediately.


Breakfast/Brunch Uncategorized Vegetarian

Broccoli, Jack & Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Quiche
Broccoli Quiche

I wasn’t kidding when I said that I was adding broccoli to everything right now. I’m still working through this 5lb bag of broccoli wokly florets.

I’ve been wanting to conquer quiche for awhile. Achieving just the creamy, cheesy consistency is not trivial. Today, I feel more successful than ever. I’ve made quiche before and blogged about it, but I must admit that this recipe tops the Salmon one for smooth, rich, creamy texture. Finally!

The trick? Heavy cream, for one, and lots of it. Also, a mixture of Monterrey Jack cheese (which is supremely meltable) and cheddar. And finally, I believe putting the grated cheese in the bottom of the crust and then layering everything else on top of it, rather than mixing the cheese in with the eggs and cream, helped create this exemplary texture. See what you think.

Broccoli Quiche with Monterry Jack and Cheddar
Serves 4-6


1/2 cup of diced onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 generous cup of broccoli florets
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 frozen, 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, thawed


1. Pull the pie crust out of the freezer to let it thaw and preheat your oven to 400˚F.

2. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan and sautée onions gently until starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

3. Pick over the broccoli florets and trim to them to ensure that they are small enough and of uniform size. Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small saucepan and add the broccoli florets. Boil/steam for 2 minutes tops. Remove from heat, drain water and set aside.

4. Beat together the eggs, cream, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Leave on counter during the rest of the preparation to allow it to come to room temperature.

5. Prick the bottom of the pie crust to prevent air bubbles from forming. Bake crust for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

6. Change oven temperature to 375˚F. Spread cheeses evenly along the bottom of the pie crust. Distribute broccoli florets and cooked onions evenly over the cheese. Pour milk and egg mixture on top. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before serving. I actually turned off my oven a few minutes early and allowed the quiche to sit in the cooling oven for awhile, which kept it warm and cooking without overdoing it.

Looking for more broccoli recipes? Check out ComfyCook’s collection of Broccoli recipes from BSI participants around the blogosphere.

Casseroles Pizza and Pasta Sides Uncategorized Vegetarian Video How-to

Mac-n-Cheese w/ Hidden Broccoli & Cauliflower

Mac-n-Cheese w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Hidden Inside
Mac-n-Cheese w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Hidden Inside

My four-year old is a very picky eater. If he could have macaroni and cheese at every meal, he would. So I’ve taken to hiding healthy foods in the mac-n-cheese to ensure he’s getting enough nutrition. This version worked pretty well. If I were making it for myself, I would have used stronger cheeses like (you guessed it) Gruyére, and I would have added other punchy flavors like garlic or nutmeg. But I wanted this dish to go down without a fuss, so cheddar ruled the day.

I didn’t conceal from him the fact that I was concealing healthy foods in his macaroni and cheese. In fact, I enlisted his help during the broccoli and cauliflower grinding process. He loves to push the button. We used my new Cuisinart mini chopper. It’s a snap to pull out, use, and clean up.

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus
Available at Amazon - Click here
My son
Broccoli Chopped in the Mini Prep
Broccoli Chopped in the Mini Prep

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Serves 4


1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup whole milk (or heavy cream to make it really decadent)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (we had fun shredding ours in a vintage Mouli)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter

Broccoli & Cauliflower sautéeing
Broccoli & Cauliflower sautéeing


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Put broccoli florets into food processor and grind into teeny weeny pieces. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with cauliflower.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cauliflower and toss. Basically, we’re browning these vegetables just a little bit to enhance the nutty sweet flavors they bring to the dish. After a few minutes, turn off the heat and leave for later.

3. Bring salted water to boil in a large pot and boil the macaroni. Since you’re going to be baking this dish, you can shave off a minute from the boiling time recommended on the package.

4. In the meantime, for the roux, heat the milk in a saucepan to almost boiling. Remove from heat for later. Melt butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add flour and whisk continuously. Sautée flour for 3 minutes. Don’t let it brown or it will get bitter. Add the warm milk in a steady stream and whisk continuously. Simmer gently (no boiling!) until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add shredded cheese in small batches, incorporating each batch completely. Season with salt. Add broccoli and cauliflower and stir until well combined. At this stage, you have a kind of broccoli-cheddar cream soup. You could use this sauce for lots of different things. I put it over a baked potato and it was awesome.

5. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl.

6. To assemble, pour macaroni into a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I used this small Le Creuset dish. Stir in the sauce, coating all of the macaroni completley. Top with the buttered bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbly. If topping is not already browned, you can put it under the broiler for a minute at the end.

Le Creuset. Available at Amazon
Le Creuset. Available at Amazon

Want to see a bunch more macaroni and cheese ideas? Check out this video collection at

Looking for more broccoli recipes? Check out ComfyCook’s collection of Broccoli recipes collected from BSI participants around the blogosphere.

Appetizers Produce Soups and Stews Uncategorized

Silky Smooth Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup

This week at the grocery store, I bought an enormous bag of broccoli florets and have since been adding broccoli to everything.

Today I decided to make a more significant dent in the bag by making cream of broccoli soup. My husband loves cream of broccoli soup and even enjoys the Campbell’s version. In the past, I’ve added Campbell’s Cream of Broccoli soup to various chicken casseroles, but we’ve both watched as the cans have disappeared completely from store shelves throughout Northern California and the Sierras.

It does still exist. But I was happy to find out today just how easy it is to make the good stuff from scratch at home.

Here are my tips and tricks for making your best cream of broccoli soup yet:

1) I use a potato to help thicken the soup. I do use heavy cream at the end, because I can’t resist the rich flavor and texture of cream, but adding the potato could have meant cutting back on the fat and using whole milk instead.

2) To boost the flavor, I sautée onion and garlic first, then add the broccoli and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

3) To make the soup really smooth (and not gritty) I use an immersion blender to liquefy the soup and then pass it through a fine strainer. Not once, but twice! I was inspired to do this by something I read in the French Laundry Cookbook
where Thomas Keller describes how liquids don’t move from one pan to another in the French Laundry kitchen without passing through a strainer. Got it? Blender. Strainer. Strainer. Done.

4) I also add spinach to boost the vibrant green color and add even more nutrients.

5) Don’t have an immersion blender yet? It’s time to get one. It simplifies soup making so much.


Silky Smooth Cream of Broccoli Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Super silky smooth cream of broccoli soup.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4-6
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup raw baby spinach leaves (packed)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sautée gently until softened and translucent - about 3 minutes.
  2. Add potato, broccoli and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and baby spinach leaves. The heat from the soup will wilt the leaves down right away.
  3. Let the soup cool a bit before adding it in batches to a blender. Return soup to pan through a strainer. Not all of the contents will make it through the strainer. Reserve the thick parts that won't strain and put them back into the blender. Then pour back into the soup.
  4. While reheating soup gently, add cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Once soup is hot again (but not boiling!) whisk in sour cream and blend completely.
  5. Serve with a garnish of parsley or mini broccoli spears or a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese or even another dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!


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