How to: Cook Seasonally – Shaved Asparagus Pizza

While perusing my local vegetable market in search of inspiration for dinner this week, I did a double take when I spotted a new ‘Product of Ontario’ sign.

It was perched atop a big carton of fat, fresh asparagus.

I actually “EEEEE”d and clapped with delight.  The guy looking trough the leeks next to me quietly side stepped away.

Asparagus Pizza - slice

Now, I realize in my last post I mentioned there’s nothing like firing up the bbq to kick off warm weather season.

I’m sorry. I lied.
Asparagus Pizza - raw asparagus

Come spring, there’s nothing like getting your fill of local asparagus.

Asparagus Pizza -shavingFresh asparagus will be bright green with tightly closed and compact tips.  It can be eaten cooked as well as raw if it’s sliced or shaved finely, like in our Asparagus and Zucchini Salad.
Asparagus Pizza -shavings Finding fat asparagus is your best bet if you’re planning on shaving it.Asparagus Pizza - doughPizza and asparagus? You betcha. You can be ambitious and make your own pizza dough, or purchase pre-made dough or crust for an ultra quick appetizer or meal.Asparagus Pizza - dough with cheeseThis ‘white pizza’ doesn’t even call for sauce.  One less step to delicious town.
Asparagus Pizza - before oven

I would love to hear what your favourite unconventional pizza toppings are.

Erin

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Website Adapted from the blog Crumb - by Isabelle Boucher

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb asparagus (about 5 thick stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 150g ricotta cheese (about 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives (minced)
  • 8 basil leaves (about 2 Tbsp of finely chopped leaves)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 500 gram package of fresh pizza dough (or homemade dough rolled and stretched to make a 12-14 inch crust)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, with a pizza stone or a baking sheet in the oven while preheating.
2. Holding the asparagus by the thick, woody end use a vegetable peeler to shave each spear into 1/8" shavings. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt and set aside
3. Combine ricotto cheese, parmesan cheese, chives, basil and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
4. Place rolled/stretched dough on the back of a lightly floured baking sheet (this allows for easy transfer of the raw pizza on to the hot preheated stone/baking sheet). Brush remaining 2 tsp of olive oil over surface of uncooked pizza crust. Spread cheese mixture over surface of dough, leaving a 1/2" border. Top with shaved asparagus.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crust is browned and asparagus is beginning to char.

Asparagus Pizza - whole

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