Roasted Lemon & Broccolini Pizza

i.e. I'm about to convince you to eat the lemon peel

When my brother was a wee kiddo, for him, “too much” was synonymous with “a lot.”

This is a COMPLETELY logical syntactic conclusion for a four year old to come to. He was in the midst of piecing the rules of English together, and when he helped himself to a delightfully tall stack of Oreo cookies or three scoops of ice cream, he heard adults say, “Newton, that’s too much." He wanted a lot. Ergo, he wanted “too much."

To this day in the Allen family, when someone offers you something delicious and asks how much you want, the correct answer is: too much. 

There are two major takeaway from this anecdote: 

  1. My brother's name is Newton. (Yes, he is the coolest, smartest person in every room.)
  2. When it comes to roasted lemon & broccolini pizza, I want too much. 
broccolini-lemon-radishes

Prep time: 35 minutes | Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, sliced into ¼-⅛ inch thick medallions*
  • 1 bunch (180 g) broccolini
  • 5-6 (150 g) small radishes, sliced into ¼ -⅛ inch thick medallions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 4 whole wheat pitas
  • ⅓ cup (40 g) x 4 vegan mozzarella**

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Blanch lemons in boiling water for 3 minutes and then run under cold water. (This helps remove the bitterness from the rind.) Slice the lemons into ¼ inch medallions.
  3. Trim the ends of the broccolini, and cut any particularly robust stalks down the center lengthwise. This is also the moment to slice your radishes, mince your garlic, and chop your rosemary, if you’ve not already done so.
  4. Gently warm olive oil, minced garlic, and salt in a skillet over medium-low heat.  
  5. Toss radishes and broccolini in half of the warmed olive oil with coarsely chopped rosemary, a little more salt, and pepper. Spread the radishes and broccolini over two sheet pans.
  6. Gently coat lemon medallions in remaining oil and add them to the sheet pans.
  7. Roast this goodness for a brief 6 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, top pitas with vegan mozzarella (approximately 1/3 cup per pita) 
  9. Once your toppings are 6 minutes roasted, arrange them atop the vegan mozzarella, and place the pitas in the oven for another 7-10 minutes until the cheese is appropriately melty and wonderful, the lemons have caramelized, and the broccolini is the right kind of crispy. 
  10. Eat too much. 

Notes

*If you are able to purchase organic lemons, I would 100% recommend doing so. Conventionally grown lemons are frequently coated with a petroleum-based wax, which typically contains other troublesome compounds (e.g. solvent residues, milk casein, or ethanol). Although organic lemons are sometimes coated with wax as well, this wax will always be natural rather than petroleum-based. To remove the wax coating, scrub the lemon rind with a vegetable brush as you run it under cool water during the blanching process. 

**Vegan cheeses are pretty heavy on macronutrients and pretty skimpy on micronutrients, which is not really in the spirit of Chroma Kitchen. WITH THAT SAID...sometimes, needs must. 

Nutrition 

Serving Size: 1 Pita | Calories: 330 | Total Fat: 17g | Carbohydrate: 46g | Sugar: 5g | Dietary Fiber: 10g | Protein: 11g | Vitamin A: 0% | Vitamin C: 119% | Calcium: 8% | Iron: 7% 

4 Reasons to Eat the Peel! 

As with many fruits, when it comes to lemons, the peel is a nutritional powerhouse. Here a four reasons to think twice before you throw it out!

Fiber

Ninety-seven percent of Americans are deficient in fiber (other countries do better on this front than we do). Adequate fiber consumption is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut and protecting against many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers. Lemon peels are about 48% fiber. Not a bad ratio at all. 

Vitamin C

Everyone loves vitamin C, but it’s sooooo much healthier to get it from your food than from a gummy bear or a fizzy drink powder. Lemon peel is off the charts when it comes to vitamin C. Six grams of lemon peel contain 13% your daily value. 

Potassium

...is not just for bananas. Potassium is the critical counterpoint to sodium in your body. These work together to keep your heart, your muscles, and your digestive system in fine working order. (Does anyone else remember the sodium potassium pump from AP bio?? I. loved. that. class.) Guess what, lemons peels have a hearty potassium content.

Because You Can

Granted, this is not always home run argument, but when you discover that a food you’ve been eating since forever is twice as edible and nutritious as you thought...that's your cue to eat the peel, waste less food, and love your body!