Guys, I made it out just in time.

Just this past Friday, the New York Times declared courtship to be dead.  Murdered, in fact, by the rise of social media, the unfortunately venerated text message, and *ugh* “hanging out”.  I mean, why commit to dinner and a movie when you can text a girl at the last minute to meet you (and your friends) for a drink that maybe hopefully will turn into tequila shots and casual sex.  A boy can dream, right?

Cue post traumatic dating disorder panic attack. Now.

Really, I’m getting stressed out just remembering.


And don’t even try to tell me that the girls want it this way too.

Maybe that’s what they say to the boys because they think that if they hang in there long enough and pretend they’re SoOoOoOoO into it the casual sex will turn into relationship sex, and a night at a bar (where they paid for their own drinks, mind you) will turn into dinner at a mediocre restaurant that maybe the guy will at least pay for half of. Yup, this is apparently what we aspire to ladies.

But no matter how much a girl tries to pretend that she’s the totally cool, not needy woman of every guy’s dream…she totally wants the guy to call her on the phone just to say hi and ask how her day was. And vomits a little every time he texts her at 11:45pm saying, “hey, is anything fun going on tonight?”.  Which is really code for, “hey, maybe we can do something fun in.your.bed tonight”.  Gross.

So, yeah.  This really bothers me, obviously.

Maybe because I was that girl who was caught up in that dating game.  Maybe because even though I am strong and smart and have so many things going for me, I was too afraid of being turned down to stand up for what I deserved.  And it bothers me.  A lot.

Why, as women, are we programmed to do this?  Why don’t we ever feel like we are entitled to ask for more?


I got lucky and against all odds met someone on a dating website who actually wanted to date me.  Like, real dates. At restaurants.  Someone who, after two and a half months of dating, when I informed him that I was allergic to late-night text messages and so he had to call me every night at a reasonable hour…agreed.  Someone who brought up the idea of us being monogamous first.  Without even the least bit of prodding from me.

But I can tell you from MUCH experience that he is a rare breed.  And my point in all of this is, we deserve more. And we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.

This Eat.Live.Be. message has been brought to you today by Stonefire Naan who showed me that I deserve more out of my quick-and-dirty pizza crusts.  And that their flatbreads were willing to give it to me.

I know lots of people love pitas or tortillas as ready-made crusts but, I’ll be honest…after a few minutes in the oven these have the texture and flavor of cardboard. Seriously not appealing.  So for the longest time, when I had a craving for pizza I just sucked it up and made my own dough.  Which is awesome when you have the time to let it rise, but when you don’t….well, it’s not pretty.

Enter the flatbreads from Stonefire Naan which are the solution to all of my spur-of-the-moment pizza craving problems.  Once heated, they end up with a crusty bottom topped with a layer of fluffy dough.  And the flavor is spot-on addictive.  Easy peasy pizza perfection.

I topped my pizza with a layer of creamy delicious ricotta and broccoli rabe that had been sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.   This is what “settling” absolutely does not look like, I’ll tell you that much.  Rather, it was pretty much exactly what I wanted.  And what more could a girl ask for?

Disclaimer: I was sent Stonefire Naan flatbreads for free, however my thoughts and opinions on how delicious they are, are all my own.  They have a lot of fun events and promotions going on on their facebook page so be sure to check it out!


One year ago…Green Goddess Enchiladas
Two years ago…Cookie Dough Truffles
Three years ago…Salmon Fish Stew, Brazilian Style
Four years ago…Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary and Capers

Flatbread Pizza with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta
Makes 3 flatbread pizzas, adapted from My Pizza


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • red pepper flakes
  • 3 flatbreads
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Trim and discard any discolored or wilted leaves and trim tough stems from the broccoli rabe and rinse it.  Cut into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice and cold water and have it waiting on a work surface. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for about 20 seconds, until bright green. Transfer it immediately to the ice bath to halt the cooking. Drain, pat it dry, and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan. Add the sliced garlic and a pinch of chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan.  Cook, shaking the pan continuously for about a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread 1/4 cup ricotta over each of the flatbreads. Top each with 1/3 of the broccoli rabe. Place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until flatbread is starting to crisp up.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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88 Responses to Flatbread Pizza with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta {}

  1. LOVE flatbread pizza. And I love the big pile of broccoli rabe on top!
    Yay for online dating sites – that’s how I met the hubs a few years ago. 🙂

  2. Danielle says:

    I love broccoli rabe – great idea for pizza crust too!

  3. Gloria says:

    ABsolutely delicious pizza and I love ricotta too!

  4. Beth says:

    I’m so glad I’m not dating anymore. Shudder.

    On the bright side, your pizza looks awesome!

  5. bellini says:

    The flatbreads sound perfect for real dates spent at home with good conversation and a glass of wine or a night curled up by the fire with a good book.

  6. This looks delicious! I’m so glad you found a good one in the world of guys who are too lazy and selfish to be real daters. My first date with Matt was a real dinner date so I’m pretty sure that was a good sign:-)

  7. You can court me with this pizza… I’m easy like that! 😉 Social media certainly has it’s good side though… Eric and I met via Facebook. So, there’s that.

    But seriously, I’m such a broccoli rabe fan… this is calling my name.

  8. SallyBR says:

    Love the flatbread pizza, but love even more to see you so in love and so happy!

  9. london bakes says:

    I’m all for courting and chivalry – may it never die in my book. I like a good old fashioned trip to the cinema or meal out and, you’re right, nobody should settle for anything less.

    Love this pizza, such great toppings.

  10. Amy says:

    I met and married a man who is totally old-school. I was attracted to him immediately by his traditional values (and nice butt)… I thought I snatched up the last great one, but I guess you did! Awesome. And I wholeheartedly agree – what’s going on out there scares me senseless. I have to work overtime to make sure that my daughter has self-worth and confidence. To know she’s better than a one night stand. And to make sure my son treats women with respect and equality. Ugh. But how to do that when they’re 16 and their hormones are raging! I only thought potty training was hard.

  11. I don’t miss the dating games! It’s horrible! I hear so many stories abotu poor woman who really like a Guy and than in the bed they go, never to hear from the guy again! Then you think was I bad in bed? Or did he just use me? I don’t miss it at all!! Glad I’m married! 🙂

    Your faltbread looks amazing! Perfect for a Friday night dinner!

  12. After all the things I have been baking and eating, I’m going to be a moo moo.. fresh bread and veggies is always a good idea!!! an dyes the NY times article shocked me too..i’m so glad for us like minded folks who escaped this texting era right on time.

  13. Patsy K says:

    Everytime I hear what it’s like to date now, I’m grateful that I have been out of that game for a long time! Yikes!

    Now, I’ve got to locate those flatbreads for easy pizza nights at our house! yum!

  14. Joanne, i love you for this! I adore broccoli rabe and dont make it at home often. This looks like a nice change of pace from the standard protein, grain, and veggie dishes.

  15. flatbread pizza is my favorite!!!! well, pizza is my favorite. any kind. this is an awesome take on pizza 🙂

  16. marie says:

    These pictures are utterly mouth watering, your bread turned out completely awesome.

    Okay onto the subject, I COULN’T AGREE WITH YOU MORE!!!!! Yes, technology can be great, but it’s turned men into wimps in some ways. I just got my first cell phone a few months ago and you better believe that when a boy wants to talk to my daughter he will have to call our home or Glenn or I’s cell. He may get one of us, it’s the chance he’ll have to take. Boys have it way too easy, and girls make it easy. Make em’ man up.

  17. That article is all we were talking about yesterday at the yoga studio. Good for you – stand up and say something about it!! And I love that T.S. Elliot quote. Plus, casual sex doesn’t get a man a flatbread pizza like this one.

  18. Christina says:

    This looks amazing. And dating now is exactly how you describe it. I will be using the whole “alergic to late night text messages” line. Thanks 🙂

  19. Nina says:

    Flatbread Pizzas are my fav…they look soooo good. Well social media does have a good side too…I met my husband on the internet:)

  20. That looks so freaking good Joanne – I want that for lunch! I have often said that I see so much less Broccoli Rabe out here than in the Mid-Atlantic. Not sure why but don’t like it! So glad you and The.Boy found each other <3

  21. This flatbread pizza is great.For years I made pizzas every week,two at a time and still love them. I probably could make the dough and crust in my sleep with my eyes closed.
    But oy, sorry to hear about the boys you are meeting. I remember when I would encounter girls I wanted to date, only to watch them latch on to real losers (druggies, ex-cons etc). After I split up with my first spouse I spent 10 years not finding a good woman. I prayed to God one time and a week later met my dream.
    We live in Georgia (USA) but came to find out we both went to the same grammar school in Queens (St Nicks on Parsons and Union Turnpike). We met in Jan and married in May, 7 years ago.
    I’m not much of a church-goer but definately believe. And moreso now than ever.
    I wish you better luck in your dating.

  22. Lynn says:

    That looks delicious. And I’m so glad you found someone like your boyfriend. He sounds like a keeper.

  23. Amen to asking for what we deserve! And double amen for flatbread pizzas topped with cheese and veggies 🙂

  24. Hold onto keepers like him, Joanne. I feel very lucky to have found that same rare breed. 🙂

  25. Pam says:

    This is the perfect use for your flatbread. AND I am so glad I dated back in the dark ages, before cell phones even!

  26. Yes, good guys are hard to come by these days. Most guys are jerks and are just really after the next pretty face that comes along. Keep The.Boy! In the meantime, stuff him silly with this delicious flatbread pizza!

  27. Good disclaimer to include.
    I read the article, too. Interesting to hear your opinion. I think it’s definitely very representative of the “young single experience” in NYC, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily accurate for our whole generation all across the country, you know?

  28. Jessie says:

    I hear ya, girl! I was so, SO lucky to meet Peter when I was much younger and at a time of my life when I was vulnerable to just about anything. He’s the real deal just like the.boy is the real deal, and we should – not, we MUST – be willing to stand up for ourselves and be with real deals. They are out there, even if they’re harder to find nowadays!

    This delicious flatbread pizza has me wanting second lunch … with your charm and cooking skills and general all-around awesomeness, I think you and the.boy are lucky to have each other 🙂

  29. Guru Uru says:

    Hold on to him my friend!!! So romantic! Being a teen, I don’t know how I am going to find someone who is into old fashioned stuff like me 😛
    But while I wait I simply would love to make this delish dinner!

    Choc Chip Uru

  30. Michelle says:

    Sigh. It’s still such a man’s world.
    If I was in on the dating scene…well…I just don’t know. I’d cuddle up with this flatbread pizza of yours and be thrilled that I didn’t have to put up with that crap!

  31. Eileen says:

    Naan as pizza crust is one of my favorite tricks ever–like, to the point where we sometimes over-order naan on purpose when we go out for Indian food. 🙂 I love the idea of ricotta and bitter greens, too! (And am I ever happy that I pretty much escaped “dating” entirely.)

  32. What a great post, thoughts, & insights. I got married young & I’ve been married for almost 12 years now but if I had to ever date again, I think I’d be single forever. The stories, the nightmares, the lack of expectations and standards, quite a topic. I need to eat that pizza first 🙂

    • Marcia says:

      I’m definitely with you there. I think I’d be single too.

      I guess I am lucky. I’m 20 years out of college and have been married for 16 years. I was never into casual sex, and it never would have occurred to me to go for that. But I didn’t have a cell phone or social media either.

      I mean, I didn’t ever have sex with someone that I wasn’t “dating exclusively” first. Does that even happen anymore?

  33. Courtship is dead? I think it’s been long dead–even normal human ‘conversation’ is dying! Although I am guilty of often hiding behind email rather than telling someone something uncomfortable to their face…

  34. I cannot even imagine having to date “now”. It makes me shudder. I happy that you found The.Boy. And I need this pizza. I remember the one in My Pizza you’re inspired by – I had that page marked FOREVER (yet never made it…didn’t it have prosciutto), and finally had to return it to the library. I will now promptly run to the library to find it again. And by run, I mean drive. ;P

  35. I read that article – so glad I’m out of all that!! These pizzas look perfect! I love that you used broccoli rabe, so delicious !
    Mary x

  36. Interesting article. I think I got lucky as well with the whole real dates thing! And I love this rabe and ricotta combo!

  37. I absolutely love this Joanne! Simply elegant!

  38. Debbie says:

    My comment to the dating scene is this…”what you put up with is what you end up with.” I’m married and I don’t envy anyone dating these days. Ugh. No ugh to that flatbread pizza…..more like Oh wow!!!

  39. Not gonna lie, I’m glad I’m not dating anymore. Now that flat bread…. I love everything about it. Especially the broccoli rabe!

  40. Simply Life says:

    this flatbread looks great! I have leftover ricotta in my fridge right now and was trying to figure out what to do with it- thanks!

  41. I feel SO lucky to have a (now!) husband who actually took me on dates and showed me how much he liked me, never giving me any doubt. Love! So happy you have someone fabulous in your life, too 🙂

    But if I WERE single, I might be happy simply having this flatbread in my life. No lie.


  42. Candace says:

    Flatbread pizzas are awesome and yours looks amazing. I wish I had a slice of that one instead of the mushroom one that I just had. Seriously disappointed. I’m happy for you that you’ve found happiness. You definitely deserve it. 🙂

  43. Hotly Spiced says:

    I know so many girls who settled for exactly what you described and the sad thing is that decades later they are in exactly the same place, still waiting for Mr Right but going about it in all the wrong ways. It’s a recipe for disaster and I’m so glad you’ve found your Mr Fabulous. He sounds truly wonderful. And I bet he’s not just hanging around for all your good cooking either! xx

  44. Karis says:

    I know what you mean about pitas and tortillas not always making a good pizza base. I love Trader Joe’s pitas for pizza bases, but so far those are the only ones I’ve tried and liked.

  45. teresa says:

    i’m so glad you found a guy that knows what’s up. every woman deserves a guy willing to work a bit for her.

    this pizza looks so good!

  46. Amy says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Oh my god, so glad I’m not dating anymore…ugh! I’m so totally just like you- I knew I was such a good catch but also had a hard time standing up for what I deserved…until I met the right guy who gave me what I deserved without having to ask. Sounds like you’ve found yourself a guy like that too 🙂

    This pizza sounds a.m.a.z.i.n.g

  48. Jenn says:

    Love using naan as a pizza crust, and your toppings look great!

    And woohoooo on not settling…

  49. I love using naan for pizza but always forget to do so, thanks for reminding me! And for reminding me how lucky I am to not have to worry about dating!

  50. Those guys you describe aren’t even worth spending two seconds with them! I’m sure there are still people out there raised by good parents who value human dignity.

    Those pizzas are definitely worth more than a moment 🙂 Delicious! Love that green.

  51. Reeni Pisano says:

    Scary. I think I shall be single forever. Unless I get lucky like you. Thank goodness I have my cat heehee. Naan pizzas rule! Love this ricotta and garlicky greens topping!

  52. Cathleen says:

    Haha, I guess this is why I was single for so long. I met a guy 4 years ago that was in the rare breed, and have been dating him ever since.
    This pizza looks fantastic! What a combination!

  53. Katie says:

    So glad that the dating is going so well for you. It’s a treat when it all works out. I think a dish like this would certainly encourage him to stick around. Broccoli rabe and ricotta on a pizza–incredible!

  54. You are lucky…I somehow just don’t trust those dating sites where many are just looking for ONS.
    Flatbread pizza is my favourite. Fuss free and delicious with some healthy toppings like these.

  55. That Girl says:

    I think you totally hit the nail on the head with girls telling boys what they want to hear.

  56. So happy for you that you were able to find that rare breed of genuinely good guys. Oh and this pizza – uh yeah I can have this for dinner every. single. night.

  57. Johanna GGG says:

    goodness dating is pure courage and a bit of luck thrown in to meet someone decent and love is such a strange beast that love indeed happens in mysterious ways that those who create dating sites and facebook could never conceive of

    but pizza is easy and gorgeous and has thankfully occurred far more frequently in my life than dating 🙂 Actually we are very lucky to have some fantastic turkish bread bakeries close by and they make wonderful pizza – I feel like one right now

  58. This pizza looks delicious! Greetings from Romania – Europe!

  59. Kari says:

    Sometimes life is way too complicated. I think we should all stick with pizza like this and everything will be fine 🙂

  60. daphne says:

    Naan! Perfect idea. And I love the use of ricotta too.

    I’m with you- seriously, bring back dates!!!! That’s the FUN part!

  61. I am SO thrilled that you found such a good man in this world, dear Joanne. XO I found one too and how I treasure him!! I shudder when I think of those ghastly dating days, those ones where I didn’t think I was worthy of real love. Aren’t you so glad that in spite of our crazy choices we STILL met guys who love us well? 🙂

  62. Corina says:

    Lovely pizza – I love naan breads.

    So glad you’ve met a lovely guy. I’ve been very lucky too. I first met my husband over ten years ago and we’ve been together over 8 years now. It took us a long time to get together as neither of us would make the first move. He always claims that there are lots of nice guys (like him) out there but that women prefer the smooth talkers and so get badly treated!

  63. Naaaaaaaan pizza?! I’m so freaking in. Love this! As for boys, I couldn’t agree more. I love when P. texts in the middle of the day just to say he misses me or loves me. I had enough relationships in the past pretending I didn’t care and I’m certain that’s why they didn’t work!

  64. Ashley Bee says:

    I AM SO WITH YOU ON ALL DATING POINTS! Gah! I am so happy to be out of the dating game for the moment and so happy I found a guy (also online!) who wanted to be with ME. He’s incredible, he thinks I’m incredible, and I’m so happy you found someone too 🙂

    I was honestly okay with “casual”–that wasn’t what bothered me. It was when the guy was cunning enough to dangle “relationship” in front of my face to get what he wanted, when really HE only wanted “casual” was when it got tricky. I’m a big girl, I can get just as much fun out of a quick fling as a guy can, but be HONEST with me about it, don’t pretend you want things that you don’t want. I think hookup culture would leave girls with the short end of the stick so much less frequently if the guy was upfront about not wanting it to be serious, and if the girl was confident enough in herself to cut ties if she wasn’t cool with it.

    In short, dating sucks, pizza rules 🙂

  65. Kim says:

    Back when we cooked with Nigella I learned all about using naan for a quick pizza crust. Love it, and I love your toppings.

    And, I couldn’t agree more about women settling for less! You definitely need to set some boundaries and rules in a relationship. People absolutely need to talk instead of text. I’m glad you found a good guy!

  66. Big Dude says:

    We like to use Naan bread for pizza and think your healthy version is a winner.

  67. Mari says:

    Yummy!!!!!! Can I request that haha

  68. Love your dating insights, I believe more women need to feel this way. Seems like we are programmed to just put up with lame dating attempts in the hopes it will turn into something “real.” Demand respect and get it, or kick em’ to the curb! I’m happy I’m not in the dating game, I would literally die alone surrounded by 1000 cats.

    The pizza looks amazing!! I really miss “real” pizzas. If I want to make one I haven’t found a GF dough I like, so I either pay $10 for a personal pizza from BJ’s or make it on a gluten free tortilla. AKA cardboard =P Great post! My mouth is watering 🙂

  69. I really REALLY enjoyed this post, Jo. *Le sigh* I’m currently seeing someone who I hope turns out to be like your rare breed…a girl can hope. It’s SO freaking hard to find a genuinely nice gentleman that isn’t in it for the food or sex HAHA (us foodie girls have another thing guys want LOL). Thank you for posting this because sometimes I think I’m crazy and the only one who sees it this way. Thanks for not letting me feel like I’m alone on this. Also LOVE naan…even better with toppings =)

  70. Love flatbread pizza and these toppings sound perfect!

  71. Hooray for you for finding one of the rare breed! And, hooray for this pizza. I love broccoli rabe. It looks great with the ricotta.

  72. Donna says:

    I just have to say that whoever “He” is, He is a lucky, lucky man.

  73. Jenn Kendall says:

    oh my gosh, this is almost exactly what i am making for dinner right now lol…great minds think alike 😉

  74. Natalie says:

    awesome message and awesome pizza! so happy you found someone who realizes how awesome you are!!

  75. Hence, why I’m glad I’ve been married and with someone for a long time 🙂 This pizza looks grand my friend!!

  76. Natalie says:

    Oh wow this sounds different yet delicious! Healthy alternative to greasy pizza!

  77. Homeandfood says:


    There is nothing more satisfying on a freezing winter day like today that a steaming hot homemade pizza.

    I need this inside me!

    You have ever such a charming blog 🙂

    Happy new year.

  78. so true!! and i love these naan pizzas 🙂

  79. As the mother of 2 young girls, this post made me teary! And my soon-to-be 12 y/o has her first “boyfriend”. What?! On a happier note, I love naan and it makes great pizza!

  80. This pizza looks scrumptious! I love the recipe, photos, and of course your commentary as well!

  81. Jeanette says:

    I love broccoli rabe but haven’t had it so long, I don’t know why – great combination on a pizza – and I love the idea of a quick pizza made on naan.

  82. Chris says:

    I tried this new “dating” technique by suggestively texting my wife just now, while she was in the house downstairs. I heard her laugh. Sigh.

  83. We all deserve so much more than we ever risk demanding. Not only in dating, but in our jobs, life and relationships. Thanks for the great reminder.

  84. Erica says:

    Wonderful combination !Love the creamy ricotta with the broccoli rabe!Healthy and delicious!

  85. Ashley says:

    Great post!! And hey, why do you think I’m baiting you with the promise of local coffee shops and cooking together? 😉

  86. Lori says:

    I’m not sure I could take dating in the age of text and social media. It stresses me out just reading your posts! Fortunately, this gorgeous pizza makes me feel better. Loving my greens this time of year!

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