Meatless Monday With A Twist: Broccoli, Lemon And Gouda Pizza
The best days are when you learn something new. Even better if it’s about yourself. Part of that is having a willingness to try new things, no matter what our preconceived notions lead us to believe. But boy howdy, this was a new one. I’ve fashioned a liking for lemon flavor in my food, mostly through lemon juice in things like dressings, marinades and drizzled over a fish or two. But never like this. Never sliced whole as one of the main ingredients in a meal. Never, ever as one of the main toppings for a pizza or flatbread. Certainly not as a main course. Hey, I’m as confused as you are, yet here we are, and here I am, ready to tell you how delicious plain old lemon slices turn out when sliced thin and laid out as a topping on pizza or a flatbread. It all started when I ran across a photo of a small pizza topped with only broccoli and lemon slices. Strange, I thought, as I kept turning the page. But over the next few days, I kept thinking about that pizza. Thinking about it to the point that I had to try it. So based on that recipe from Martha Stewart, I tried my hand at making it, and let me tell you, “It’s a good thing“.
In addition to a quarter cup of olive oil. I stripped a couple of tablespoons of fresh rosemary from our fresh plants. Yes, our flowers have run their course but our herb garden is still going – for now. Two cloves of roasted will garlic pair nicely with a half cup of freshly shredded gouda and a quarter cup of shredded parmesan.
A fresh broccoli stalk provided enough florets for our flatbreads, about two cups worth. I sliced a couple of lemons as thin as I could, wanting at least a dozen slices, some so thin that they only had one side…ba dum bum! This also made the seeds pop out quite easily, just FYI.
With a sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, we were on our way to letting those toppings do a little marinating whilst we worked on our dough.
Had I thought about it, I would’ve made a quick pizza dough the day before, but since the time crunch got me, a fresh ball of dough from the local market does the job. In fact, after letting it rise a couple of times, I had enough dough to make two good size flatbreads. The dough ball was rolled out of the pan, worked over a little bit with some extra flour to relieve the stickiness, and stretched out.
After a bad impersonation of an Italian opera singer who also tosses, stretches and rounds out pizza dough, I laid the dough directly onto a well-oiled grate over a hardwood fire. This is quick work, so no more than thirty seconds later, I was pulling it right back off.
Flip it over onto a nearby pan, because now you’ve got your flatbread canvas and it’s time to create.
After painting the grilled side with olive oil, half the marinated broccoli and lemon slices get spread out onto the flatbread
Half the shredded gouda is then tossed evenly over the toppings.
I put the flatbread back on the grill, but this time it’s on the indirect side, away from the coals, which were the willing recipient of a fresh chunk of hickory to start smokin’ and add that rustic flavor.
I put the cover on the grill and mostly closed down the top vents to get higher temps, a better char, and melt the cheese on the top side of the flatbread. After that happened, the flatbread was pulled, topped with shredded parmesan, and for good measure, a dramatic sprinkle of crushed red pepper.
My initial skepticism was met with
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired
Broccoli, Lemon and Gouda Flatbreads
- Large Spatula or Pizza Peel
- Hardwood lump charcoal with extra hickory wood chunks for smoking
- 16 ounces Pizza dough, homemade or prepared
- 2 cups Fresh broccoli florets from 1 small head
- 2 whole Lemons, sliced paper thin into 12 individual slices
- 4 tsp Olive oil, for marinating and brushing
- 1/2 cup Gouda cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 2 tsp Rosemary leaves, whole
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper To taste
- 1 tsp Crushed red pepper optional