This is one of those posts written in desperation – the kind of desperation that comes when something is on its way out of season. In this case, broccoli. And while sage is pretty good year-round, its flavor is indelibly tied to the colder months.
The dish was invented in a different kind of desperation – the kind when you’re wandering around the grocery store looking for something to cook for dinner. Preferably something easy, quick and healthy. It was St. Patrick’s Day, but the sky was too blue and the air too almost-warm to consider cooking one of the more traditional celebratory dishes. I still wanted to make something to commemorate the day. I caught a glimpse of some deep green broccoli and thought that it was both nutritious and dressed for the occasion. Into my basket it went, next to the Guinness, and I wondered how to make a meal out of a head of broccoli. Well, I had pizza dough in the freezer, and some goat cheese and sage in the fridge… sweet! Done shopping!
Somewhere along the way I realized that I had all the necessary ingredients (pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano) for pesto just sitting there in the kitchen. And the pizza came together. Pesto and broccoli first, then a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of crumbled goat cheese.
Luck must have been with me, because this pizza was everything I wanted: fast, healthy, and holiday-appropriate. Because I know that some of you out there like recipes, here’s how I made the sage pesto. You should be able to figure out the rest of the pizza yourself. (Those of you who don’t like recipes, well, I’m sure you’ll wing it anyway.)
In retrospect, just the pesto spread on the pizza dough and baked would make some fantastic breadsticks. The recipe makes just the right amount for a two-person pizza, but it would also be great on pasta or spread on a turkey sandwich.
1 bunch sage, leaves picked, washed, and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. pine nuts, chopped
2 Tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
Squeeze of lemon juice
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. The texture will be chunky and “rustic,” but you could easily put the mixture into a food processor or blender if you want a smoother end result.
Makes about 1/3 cup (85 ml).
Originally published on Croque-Camille.