No. 148: Shaved Asparagus Pizza

I'm an asparagus fan. I was raised on it. Lots of it.

You would not believe the sheer volume of perfect stalks that came out of my Dad's garden.

I've had it braised, roasted, grilled and even smoked. But I'll admit, I've never had it raw.

There have been a plethora of raw asparagus recipes on my radar lately. Shaved asparagus salads are especially popular. It has piqued my curiousity!

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Smitten Kitchen has never steered me wrong - not once. I knew Deb was the perfect person to turn to in my first shaved asparagus experiment.

Ingredients

Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

Your favorite pizza dough or prepared dough
1/2 pound asparagus
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 scallion, thinly sliced

To make

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.

To prep 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; the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza.

Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Shaved asparagus

Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top.

Ready to bake

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.

More variations from Deb:

  • Squeeze of lemon juice over the asparagus, after you remove it from the oven
  • Give it a few more cracks of black pepper when it comes out
  • Sprinkle of truffle salt or few drops of truffle oil
  • Bake pizza for 8 minutes, break up to three eggs on top, then finish cooking pizza and eggs together

The results

I loved this fresh asparagus pizza pie.

Final pie

It's amazing how tender and flavorful the asparagus shavings were. I can see now why they'd be great in a salad.

Now, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you the results were mixed in the McCormick household. Mr. McC had a bit of the asparagus and dove into his backup pie.

Backup Pie

Yes, I made him a backup pie. I know the man. And I'll admit, it looked pretty good too.

We both agreed that a spritz of lemon and extra few grinds of black pepper on the finished asparagus pizza would be perfect. I'll be making this again.

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