Recipe: Shaved Asparagus Pizza (adapted from SmittenKitchen.com)
I've recently discovered just how delicious raw asparagus is. Crunchy and fresh, with just the slightest bitter flavor, it's a perfect addition to a tossed salad. But to add it to pizza, I needed to pare it down to bite-sized portions. Shaving it seemed like the perfect solution. At this point, I did a quick Internet search, and sure enough, the food blog SmittenKitchen.com ran a shaved asparagus pizza recipe last May. She's always stealing my ideas about a year before I have them.
Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza
- 1 recipe portion of your favorite pizza dough
- 1/2 pound asparagus
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes (do not use fresh, water-packed mozzarella for this recipe, as it will result in a soggy pizza)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Several grinds black pepper
- 1 garlic scape or scallion, thinly sliced
Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you're using a gas grill, preheat the grill for about 20 minutes, which is about as long as it takes to prepare the pizza. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.
Prepare asparagus: Wash and dry the asparagus. Holding the asparagus by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and, using a vegetable peeler, create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with the remaining stalks, then discard the tough ends. Toss the shavings with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Assemble pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven or grill) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top.
Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. If you are cooking the pizza on a pizza stone on a gas grill, turn off the burners directly beneath the pizza stone. If you don't have control over multiple burners, just turn the burners down as low as they go.
Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with garlic scapes or scallions, then slice and eat.
This recipe was written by Jessica Webster and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on June 29, 2011.