Asparagus season might be my favorite time of the year. It signifies the renewal of spring and warm weather, and shows us that winter did not conquer all green and delicious living things. The first sighting of asparagus at the farmer's market or farm stand really makes my heart jump for joy with all of the prospects that the veggie has.
One of my favorite ways to serve up asparagus is in pizza form. With the guidance of Deb, Jack and I have mastered pizza making from start to finish, including a way to incorporate this odd veggie topping. The blend of Parmesan and mozzarella really lend an otherwise crunchy vegetable, a smooth and creamy texture that melts in the mouth. This is one pizza recipe that you will be sure to bookmark for years to come.
A few notes about the pizza dough. We use Deb's recipe with the addition of whole wheat flour. It yields one very thin crust, one that we unfortunately just discovered burns entirely too easily on the direct heat from a grill. My suggestion is to use a pizza stone in an extremely hot oven instead of even attempting to grill. Another note- with an oven at the high temperature of 500 degrees, be sure to block off any sensitive fire alarms. Ours go off as soon as the oven even hits 375!
What is your favorite way to cook asparagus?
from Smitten Kitchen
1 recipe pizza dough- we use this one
1/2 pound asparagus
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound shredded mozzarella
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (or highest temperature it can handle)
For the Asparagus: Use a vegetable peeler to slice the asparagus into thin strips, or if you are impatient, slice the asparagus very carefully, into thin strips. Mix the strips with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
For the Pizza: Roll your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza stone or baking sheet. Sprinkle pizza dough with the Parmesan, and then the mozzarella. Place asparagus on top of the cheese. Bake pizza for 10 minutes, or until edges are browned and the cheese is bubbly. Note that the asparagus might be lightly charred, but that is okay! Remove from the oven, slice and eat.