I’m pretty lucky to live where I do. Just around the corner and down the street a couple of blocks is my favorite market on the edges of Chinatown. Earlier this week I spied beautiful bunches of beets–2 bunches for one buck. A few rows down was rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) for the same. I didn’t want 2 bunches worth of rapini, so I threw one bunch into my basket. Fifty cents. Imagine that.
Sadly, I haven’t been in a cooking mood. Sure, I’ll make dinner after a lot of cupboard door banging and grumbling about not wanting to cook. But, in the end, because I don’t want to give in to my husband’s suggestion to just order in pizza, I’ll end up cooking something. This afternoon, I looked into the fridge and stared at that languishing bunch of rapini, just starting to wilt and figured that I had to do something with it quick. After an internet search, I found this on a farmer’s website. Rapini chickpea pizza? Well, I had all the ingredients and got to work. I made a few changes and oh my, it was good. Really, really good. But it didn’t seem like pizza. Maybe because of the pita bread, it was more of a melt in my eyes, so that’s what I’m calling it. Make this as a healthy lunch, dinner or cut it up into triangles for a unusual appetizer. It’s easy enough to make vegan by getting rid of the cheese.
rapini – chickpea melt
(adapted from here)
1 bunch rapini, chopped
splash of hot sauce
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 T olive oil + 1 T oil for later
1/2 t red chili flakes
1/4 t kosher salt
1 14oz can of chickpeas
1/4 c water + more for later
4 whole wheat pitas
parmesan cheese, optional
1. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, adding garlic, salt and chili flakes. Stir mixture constantly as you want the garlic to get golden and have everything infuse the oil. This should take about 4 minutes or so.
2. Add chickpeas and 1/4 cup of water to a blender or food processor. Add in chili/garlic/oil mixture and set aside the skillet for later. Blend mixture until smooth and set aside.
3. Using the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and add chopped rapini to the pan. Saute for a few minutes and then add about 1/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt and a splash (or more) of hot sauce. Let the rapini steam away until all the liquid evaporates.
4. Spread chickpea mixture over the 4 pitas. I spread the mixture thinly, so I have leftover spread (which will be ideal for a snack later on). Divide the rapini over top and then top with grated parmesan, if using. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the pita is golden at the sides and crispy.