Pizza with Mozzarella, Broccolini and Red Onion
We love fresh mozzarella that’s packed in brine because it melts beautifully on pizza. But to prevent a watery pie, it’s important to remove the cheese from the brine and let it dry thoroughly at room temperature. If you like things hot, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and finish the pizza with Calabrian chiles for a delicious smoky, salty and spicy kick. Either broccolini or regular broccoli work well in this recipe; you’ll use only the florets and not the stems.
- 3 oz. (90 g) brined fresh mozzarella cheese
- Kosher salt
- 1 bunch broccolini, florets only, or 1 1/2 cups (3 oz./90 g) broccoli florets
- Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil for drizzling
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 14 oz. (440 g) pizza dough, store-bought or homemade, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more as needed
- 1/4 small red onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- Lemon wedge or crushed Calabrian chiles for serving (optional)
Place a pizza stone in an oven and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C).
Remove the mozzarella from the brine, wrap in paper towels and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Using a serrated cheese knife or a thin-bladed knife, slice the mozzarella.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and add a generous pinch of salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the broccolini florets to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender and bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain the broccolini, place on paper towels or a kitchen towel and pat dry. Transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with salt and toss to coat. Set aside.
Sprinkle a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet lightly with flour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Using your fingers, press down in the center, moving outward to push out the air and stopping 1 inch (2.5 cm) before you reach the edge of the dough. Be sure to keep the dough in a circular shape. Then stretch the dough over the back of your hands, moving in a circular pattern to create a 12-inch (30-cm) round. Place on the prepared pizza peel.
Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil and top with the Parmesan, followed by the mozzarella, broccolini, onion and red pepper flakes, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border uncovered. Sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.
Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone. Bake, rotating the stone halfway through, until the crust is puffed and charred in spots and the cheese is melted, about 12 minutes.
Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with more Parmesan. Finish with either a light squeeze of lemon or a sprinkling of Calabrian chiles. Cut into slices and serve immediately. Makes one 12-inch (30-cm) pizza.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen