Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

So, the Smitten Kitchen cookbook is amazing. Yes, this recipe is also on her blog, but just know that you need to check out the cookbook. I have a couple more that are cookbook exclusives and then you'll know.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza via The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (and blog):

Makes 1 thin crust 12” pizza

Pizza dough:
1½ c. flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. active dry yeast
½ c. lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 Tb. olive oil

½ lb. Asparagus
¼ c. grated Parmesan
½ lb. mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 tsp. olive oil
½ tsp. coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.

Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.

Dump it back on the floured counter and 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 that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

Prepare the asparagus. No need to snap off 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 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 remaining stalks and don’t fret some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and be sure to try one. It is incredibly good. I'd love to try it as a salad.
Assemble and bake the 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 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. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.
It is much more filling than you'd expect and super tasty. Make it before asparagus are totally out of season.

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