Well Dined

13Jun/130

Spring Pizzas

I am one of those people that refuses to let go of a season, so I apologize if Spring drags on a bit for me here (especially since I am always late posting).  But we are still in the transition period from Spring to Summer, so it's not THAT bad (I hope).

IMG_1079

Anyway, during one of my weekly lunches with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies, we decided to make a shaved asparagus pizza with some gorgeous purple asparagus that she got from a local farm (she talks about it here).

IMG_1074

Isn't it beautiful? It turns out that this asparagus is super juicy, so it released a lot of liquid during cooking that we had to mop up with paper towels.  If you have some big, juicy stalks and want to make pizza, I recommend sauteing them a bit first or tossing with kosher salt and draining on paper towels for a bit to draw the moisture out.

IMG_1075

Here is the beautiful whole wheat pizza dough that Melissa had ready to go when I got there.

IMG_1076

Shaved asparagus is super fun to eat, but really hard to make.  I recommend a "y" shaped peeler and a lot of patience.  Don't snap the tough ends off, use them as your handle.

IMG_1077

Pre-baking the crust a bit makes it a lot easier to arrange the toppings and transfer the pizza into the oven.  We used ricotta, garlic, Parmesan, and mozzarella as the base, topped with the shaved asparagus.

IMG_1080

Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and enjoy a fresh seasonal pizza!

IMG_1106

I enjoyed that pizza so much that I wanted to make another one at home using my new pizza stone for the first time.

IMG_1098

Instead of asparagus, I wanted to use spring onions and some leftover cherry tomatoes.  I wanted the onions to get really charred (based on how much I loved this recipe) and the tomatoes to blister, so I roasted them in the oven first.

IMG_1100

I loaded the charred veggies onto a base of the same cheeses we used before, and sprinkled some basil over top.  I did have a little trouble sliding the raw dough (purchased from the store because I was feeling lazy) onto the stone even though I put cornmeal on the pizza peel.  So next time I will be smart like Melissa and pre-bake the crust a bit.

IMG_1103

Yum - so good!

Shaved Asparagus Pizza
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 2-4

Pizza Dough, recipe follows
1/2 pound asparagus
1 cup ricotta
2 small cloves garlic. minced or crushed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. If using, place pizza stone in oven while heating.

Holding onto the tough end of the asparagus stalk, use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand.  Discard the tough ends.  Toss asparagus ribbons with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round.  Either transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on.

Combine ricotta, garlic, and Parmesan; spread onto dough.  Sprinkle mozzarella on top, then pile on the asparagus.  Bake pizza for 10 minutes or until edges are browned and the cheese is bubbly.  Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, slice, and eat.

Spring Onion Pizza
serves 2-4

Pizza Dough, recipe follows
1 bunch spring onions
1 small container grape tomatoes
1 cup ricotta
2 small cloves garlic. minced or crushed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. If using, place pizza stone in oven while heating.

Slice the spring onions lengthwise into manageable pieces; cut the tomatoes in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes until charred and blistered.

Combine ricotta, garlic, and Parmesan; spread onto dough. Sprinkle mozzarella on top, then pile on the roasted vegetables. Bake pizza for 10 minutes or until edges are browned and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, slice, and eat.

Pizza Dough
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
makes one 12 in thin crust pizza

1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to 1/2 with wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 2 tablespoons more)
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl.  Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into a lumpy ball.  Dump everything onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a homogeneous ball.

Knead it for 1-2 minutes.  Lightly oil the bowl you mixed the dough in, return the kneaded dough to the bowl, turning over so that all sides are coated.  Cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.

Gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands.  Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under the plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.