Shaved Asparagus Pizza

June 2013 018It’s amazing how much asparagus can be transformed by peeling it into long shavings and tossing with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Instead of using it as a pizza topping, I think Larry might have preferred to devour the entire bowl full right in the middle of our preparations. But luckily, one of us was able to keep our eyes on the prize: shaved asparagus pizza. Even with pre-made dough from the grocery store, it was phenomenal. The flavors of the cheeses and  asparagus are an excellent combination, and so are the textures—roughly shaved asparagus in varying thicknesses laid over a bed of melted, gooey cheese. This is my idea of spring comfort food at its finest.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza (from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook; makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza)

1/2 pound asparagus
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I’d recommend using a little less – perhaps 1/4 teaspoon)
Several grinds black pepper
One 3/4-pound pizza dough, ready to go (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used Sartori SarVecchio)
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature — about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, place it in the oven.

Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off the ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board. Use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best, but a standard peeler works fine), create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the asparagus stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks, and don’t fret if some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give the pizza character. Discard the tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and be sure to try one — you won’t believe how good raw asparagus can taste.

Assemble and bake pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Transfer either to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Sprinkle the pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile the 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. Remove from the oven, immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.June 2013 009

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Category: Kristin's Kitchen One comment »

One Response to “Shaved Asparagus Pizza”

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