When I lived in Pennsylvania, there was a little pizza place called Cosmos in the mall I shopped at. Every time I went to the mall, and my tummy started grumbling, I’d go to Cosmo’s. They laid out a selection of tantalizing pizza flavors behind a cruel glass wall that separated you from the endless pizza buffet. You picked your flavor of choice, and they popped it in the oven to make it nice and hot. The slices were always big and foldable, so one was enough to make for a perfectly portioned lunch.
Despite the array of choices at Cosmos, I always got the white broccoli pizza. It was a classic: thin, foldable crust topped with ricotta, mozzarella, and broccoli. Such a simple slice, and yet so good. I could never resist.
Nowadays, I’d have a better chance of finding Big Foot here in CNY than a slice of white pizza that’s comparable to Cosmo’s. But the way I see it, if you can’t get what you want from a restaurant or store, then you’re better off making it yourself. So, as a homage to Cosmo’s and the many tasty slices of white broccoli pizza they served me, I present my White Cheddar and Broccoli Pizza.
This pizza takes the classic qualities I know and love from that slice at Cosmo’s and freshens them up a bit by subbing white cheddar for mozzarella. Then I garlic-ified a creamy ricotta spread, because garlic makes everything better. The gooey-good white cheddar cheese is a perfect partner for the fresh broccoli. These flavors were meant to be; why not unite them on a pizza that reinvents a classic?
Well what are you doing, ya fool? Go make some flippin’ pizza!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You can lighten this up by using fat-free ricotta and/or putting it on a whole wheat crust.
- Fresh broccoli is key. Frozen won’t have the same texture or flavor.
- Similarly, you must use fresh herbs. Otherwise, it ain’t even worth it.
- Baking the crust first without any toppings ensures it will cook all the way through without having to worry about the toppings cooking first.
- Use good parmesan cheese, not those bottom-of-the-feet shavings in the green jar.
White Cheddar and Broccoli Pizza
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 1 batch pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cooked fresh broccoli florets
- 2 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Allow a pizza stone to heat for 15-20 minutes, or if you don’t have a pizza stone, have a pizza pan at the ready.
- Roll/stretch the pizza crust out as thin as you’d like and lay it out on the pizza stone/pan and brush with olive oil. Let bake for 7-10 minutes, or until set and puffed, but not yet browned.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and parmesan. Spread out in an even layer on parbaked crust. Sprinkle white cheddar and broccoli over top. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust starts to brown around the edges. Let sit for 2 minutes then slice and serve.