May is National Asparagus Month, and we’ve got an asparagus pizza recipe that’s almost guilt free: lots of fresh veggies and a whole-wheat crust.

You can bake it in the oven or grill it.

> The history of asparagus.

> More asparagus recipes.
 
 
RECIPE: ASPARAGUS & LEEK PIZZA

Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes. Thanks to Colavita for the recipe!
 
Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (feel free to mix green and white varieties)
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pound lightly salted mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 lemons
  • Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced and rinsed well
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation For Baking

    1. HEAT the oven to 500°F. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it.

    2. STRETCH out the dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel (see footnote† for substitutes) to about 10-12” in diameter, and brush the top with olive oil.

    3. PEEL the asparagus: Hold a single asparagus spear at the base and lay it flat on a cutting board. Cut and discard the tough end. Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best…you could also try a mandoline, but be careful of your fingers), run the peeler lengthwise down the asparagus, creating long shavings. Repeat with the remaining stalks. Your strips will be all different sizes, but that just adds to the texture (and fun!).

    4. PLACE the asparagus peelings in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and freshly chopped thyme.

    5. CLEAN the leeks thoroughly by rinsing them with water. It’s easiest if you chop them first (you’ll only be using the white ends), so you can rinse all the nooks and crannies free of dirt.

    6. HEAT a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the chopped leeks in the skillet, and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes.

    7. ADD the shaved asparagus, and sauté for about 3 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.

    8. DOLLOP the mozzarella along the surface of the stretched-out pizza dough. You can also grate some Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.

    9. DISTRIBUTE the shaved asparagus and leek mixture over the top of the cheese. Sprinkle on a bit more fresh thyme.

    10. DRIZZLE with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    11. SLIDE the pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top of the pizza before serving.
     
     
    Preparation For Grilling

    This pizza is fantastic when grilled. If you’d like to grill this pie, heat up your grill and oil the grate.

    Before you begin, it’s handy to have a few things in place:

  • Position all of the toppings in bowls alongside the grill. It may be necessary to pull up a small table next to the grill for this purpose.
  • Make sure the cheese is sliced and waiting on a dish, as is the leek and asparagus mixture.
  • Have some extra olive oil handy, along with the chopped thyme, salt, pepper, and lemon.
  • It’s also a good idea to have some tongs and oven mitts at the ready (things get hot) and a platter or cutting board for your finished pizza.
  •  
    1. INSTEAD of dusting a peel with cornmeal, brush both sides of the stretched-out pizza dough with olive oil.

    2. PLACE the stretched-out dough (without toppings!) directly onto the grill grate, and close the lid. Let it bake for about 2 minutes (this goes very quickly!).

    3. OPEN the lid and using the tongs, flip the crust to the other side. Starting with the cheese, place all the toppings on the pizza as neatly and quickly as possible. Don’t forget the seasonings! Close the lid and allow to bake for another 2-3 minutes.

    4. REMOVE the pizza from the grill (use the tongs) and place it onto a serving platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Serve.
     
     
    ________________

    *Make crispy fried leeks from the green leek tops—a delicious garnish. Heat a small saucepan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Drop in a piece of leek, and when it bubbles and floats to the surface, add the rest and fry for a couple of minutes until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve on top of burgers, main proteins, salads, soups, etc.

     

    Asparagus Pizza Recipe
    [1] Asparagus and leek pizza (photos #1 and #5 © Colavita).

    Basket Of Asparagus For Asparagus Pizza
    [2] Fresh spring asparagus (photo © Zoe Schaeffer | Unsplash).

    Leeks For Asparagus Leek Pizza
    [3] Most people use just the white part of leeks and throw away the green tops, which are flavorful and full of vitamin C. See how we use them in the footnote* below (photo © Good Eggs).

    Fresh Thyme Sprigs For Asparagus Pizza
    [4] Fresh thyme (photo © Karolina Grabowska | Pexels).

    Colavita  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    [5] Brush the pizza crust with extra virgin olive oil.

     
    †If you don’t have a pizza peel, substitute: (1) a rimless cookie sheet, (2) an upside-down rimmed baking sheet, (3) a cutting board or serving platter, (4) a stiff piece of cardboard, or (5) parchment paper.
     
     
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    The post A Delicious Asparagus Pizza Recipe For National Asparagus Month first appeared on The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures.
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