By tomorrow, kids all over the country will be back in school. Those languid late sunsets and easy suppers on the porch give way to family dinners wedged between after-school activities and homework. Last night, just as the sun dipped into the horizon, we jumped in the car for one last summer ice cream cone. Standing in front of the marquee, we took our time picking out flavors, trying to decide whether to try one more new flavor or stick with a favorite. All too soon, the cones had been licked down to nothing, and we were suddenly chilled, pulling on sweatshirts.
Tomorrow night I will be making something healthy. Maybe it will be one last bow to take out pizza. But healthier. Some hated green vegetable on top. But made acceptable with a bit of cheese. I’ll pick up an already baked pizza shell at the supermarket, so I won’t be rolling in dough. I really don’t mind rolling the dough, I just hate cleaning up all the excess flour. Somehow, that’s when the kitchen clears out and I find myself standing alone, mop in hand, pizza sizzling nicely in the oven.
BROCCOLI AND RICOTTA PIZZA (4 servings)
a 16-ounce baked pizza shell
olive oil, as needed
2 small heads (about 10 ounces) chopped broccoli, cooked and well drained
an 8-ounce container ricotta, whole milk or part skim
salt, ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pizza shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover a 1-inch border of the pizza shell with olive oil.
- Leaving a 1-inch border, spread the ricotta over the pizza shell. Scatter the broccoli over the top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and mozzarella.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minuets, until the edges of the crust are browned and crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and oregano before serving.