Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Flatbread with Leafy Broccoli Rabe and Stinky Goat Cheese

Here in Houston we have a wonderful farmer's market sponsored by Urban Harvest, a non-profit group dedicated to educating vegetable gardeners in the area.  They operate a large community vegetable garden located in a very urban part of the city, and also sponsor many teaching gardens at schools throughout Houston.  The farmer's market includes several vendors that grow vegetables right in the city, plus many larger producers that farm within an hour's drive of Houston.  We love to attend the market to see what others are growing and find inspiration from their harvests.  And we have become huge fans of the market's resident cheesemaker, Pola Artisanal Cheeses, which makes wonderful cheeses at a facility not far from the market.  Run by a former Houston-area chef, the cheeses are gorgeous and loaded with flavor.
Many of our winter greens are maturing in the garden, and we picked up Pola's pungent Ashy Rind Pyramid goat cheese to use with one of these greens, a leafy broccoli rabe.   These greens are an unusual member of the broccoli family because they are grown solely for their leaves rather than their flowers or stems.  The taste is quite mild, comparable to broccoli, despite being called a broccoli rabe.  As members of the brassica family, these must be started in the fall in Zone 9 for a spring harvest.  
We are growing both Cima di Rapa Maceratese from Franchi Sementi and Spigariello Liscia from Johnny's Seeds.  For this recipe, we used the Maceratese which produces lots of large soft green leaves. We cook the Maceratese first, then load the flatbread dough with the greens.  On top is Pola's goat cheese, not for the timid, although it mellows somewhat in the oven, and shaved parmesan.   Feel free to substitute with the cheese (stinky or otherwise) of your choice.  The cheeses and Maceratese combine for a hearty, filling flatbread.  
Flatbread with Leafy Broccoli Rabe (Maceratese) and Stinky Goat Cheese


1                            ball flatbread dough, at room temp for 5 minutes before rolling out
8        oz                Maceratese, Spigiarello or other leafy broccoli rabe
2        Tbs              olive oil
1                           garlic clove, minced
1/2     tsp               red pepper flakes
                             sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/4     cup              strong goat cheese, crumbled
1/4     cup              parmesan cheese, shaved using vegetable peeler while cold
                             olive oil for flatbread dough
                             corn meal and flour for rolling out dough

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and place pizza stone on shelf in top third of oven.  Ideally, stone will heat for around an hour before cooking the flatbread.
  2. Rinse greens well, remove any thick stems, then roughly chop.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium low and saute garlic with red pepper flakes until golden and fragrant.
  4. Add Maceratese and a small amount of water, about 1/4 cup.  Cover and cook until greens are wilted, several minutes.  Once the water is almost evaporated, remove lid and let the rest completely evaporate.  Season with sea salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  5. Roll out flatbread dough using flour on work surface and cornmeal on peel to prevent sticking.
  6. Spread a thin layer of olive oil, then half the parmesan.  Top with cooked greens, remaining parmesan, and goat cheese.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Printable Recipe 

Coming tomorrow:  Flatbread with Spiced Pears and Haloumi

And you may also like our other flatbread recipes:
Flatbread with Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tarentaise Cheese
Flatbread with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan
Flatbread with Roasted Golden Beets, Goat Cheese and Chestnut Honey
Flatbread with Gorgonzola Dulce, Grapes and Walnuts
Flatbread with Broccoli Rabe and Manchego
Flatbread with French Sorrel, Roasted Cauliflower and Goat Cheese


  1. You have a fantastic line up of flatbread recipes~this may be one of my faves...I am a huge broccoli rabe/goat cheese fan.

  2. Delicious. Another great flatbread recipe.

  3. I love your flatbread recipes. So creative and delicious!

  4. sounds superb with goat cheese!

  5. Mmmm... Stinky goat cheese. That's my favourite kind! :)
    Thanks for all the wonderful flatbread recipes, BTW... the toppings are always such an interesting combination of flavours and textures. Looking forward to seeing what delicious combination is next!

  6. I love stinky cheese! The Mister calls this Chick food though so I have to wait till he is on duty to make stuff like this! LOL
    Shamrocks and Shenanigans

  7. This looks so good! I'm trying not to drool over the goat cheese :D

  8. This looks delicious! Don't eat cheese though.

    Here's an interesting recipe with broccoli that goes well with flatbread:

  9. If it doesn't stink, it ain't cheese.

  10. The flatbread looks super light, when I tried it, mine was more like pizza crust.

  11. I love all your flat breads, broccoli rabe and stinky goat is a great match. My poor dinner at a new restaurant in SF was quite pathetic, I wish I had this to eat instead! No bread was served because "the kitchen is small" that's the excuse the waitress gave us. Whatever, now I am hungry.


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