I love spring!! The colors, the warm weather, the asparagus!! I have found many ways to use asparagus this spring. Most surprising was this asparagus pizza.
I wanted to make the pizza recipe from the cookbook Date Night In the other day, but I did not have the ingredients for the topping. I looked in the fridge and realized I had the makings of another great pizza. The crust on this pizza is thin and crispy, and very easy to work with. My husband said it tasted like the pizza we ate when we lived in Italy. The toppings are fresh and light, just right for spring.
Asparagus, Garlic, Parmesan Cheese Pizza
Attention: Plan ahead as this dough needs to be prepared 1 -2 days ahead of the time you want to serve the pizza.
Olive Oil Pizza Dough
(from the cookbook Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez)
–Makes two dough balls
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 and 1/4 cup flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Start this dough the day before or up to 2 days before you plan to use it.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, olive oil and water. Dump in the flour and salt. Start by mixing the dough on low until everything is well combined. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-low and knead for 7 to 10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be smooth and elastic.
Then knead a bit by hand, on a lightly floured surface.
Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate 24 -48 hours. Make sure the container allows room for the dough to double in size (mine did not double in size, but that was OK). Take it out of the container and divide into two dough balls. (After this first slow rise, dough balls can be frozen until ready to use. Defrost in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.)
When it is time to make the pizza:
Turn on the oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone into the oven for about 20 minutes–it is best if it is well heated when the pizza slides on to it.
Flour the counter and roll out the dough ball as thin as you would like it. Transfer the dough onto a pizza peel (or a rimless cookie sheet) that is covered with a bit of cornmeal (to let the dough easily slide off the peel into the oven).
1 bunch (10 -15 stalks) asparagus, washed and stems snapped off
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
Freshly grated black pepper (optional)
“Shave” the asparagus and the Parmigiano-Reggiano by using a vegetable peeler to make thin pieces. Just pretend you are peeling a potato!
Cover the top of the pizza dough evenly with the shaved asparagus. Sprinkle the garlic on top, then the Parmigiano (and grind a couple of times the optional black pepper) and drizzle with olive oil, about 2 Tablespoons. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for about 10 minutes, or until it is as crisp as you would like it to be.