Roasted Broccoli & Charred Lemons
Roasted broccoli, walnut pesto, pecorino cheese, charred lemons, crispy chickpeas & toasted breadcrumbs
We've been on a real lemon kick lately. If you can find Meyer lemons, those are ideal for eating whole slices, but charring them makes even regular lemons caramelized and smoky enough to eat in thin slices like this. Also, I have to admit that until pretty recently, I was not a fan of broccoli. Adam has been trying to convert me for a while, and it finally seems to have stuck. Roasted broccoli is where it's at. I'm still a little skeptical of other forms of preparing these tiny trees, but the crispy browned edges and charred flavor of roasted broccoli is something I can get behind. I guess the moral of this pizza is: browning things makes them taste better. I know, what a revelation.
1 ball of pizza dough
salt & pepper
flour for dusting
4ish cups broccoli florets
1.5 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup grated pecorino
1 tablespoon capers
1 lemon (Meyer ideally), cut into 1/4 inch rounds
a couple pinches of sugar
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
For the pesto:
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place your broccoli florets on one and your drained & rinsed chickpeas on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt & pepper. Put both sheets in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is browned around the edges. Keep the chickpeas in for another 4-5 minutes, until crispy. When they're finished, set aside and increase your oven temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go.
Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Brush your lemon slices with olive oil and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt & sugar on both sides. The sugar will help them get extra caramelized. Add the slices to the pan and cook until they are nice and charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Flip them carefully so they don't stick to the pan and lose their pretty shape. Set aside.
To make the chopped pesto, combine the basil, walnuts and garlic, and finely chop them all together. Mix the chopped ingredients in a small bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice & lemon zest, combining to form a coarse pesto mixture. Season with salt & pepper to taste. You can also add more olive oil if the pesto feels too dry.
Put your breadcrumbs in another bowl, tossing with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pesto. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas, broccoli, capers, walnuts, chili flakes & half the remaining pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Now you can start preparing your dough, using the instructions on the right. After you've par-baked it, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil, followed by the rest of the pesto. Top with the broccoli mixture, the grated cheese & breadcrumbs, and the lemon slices. Bake until the cheese is melty and the crust is a nice golden brown, then take it out and enjoy!
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