White Asparagus Pizza

White Asparagus Pizza before baking (A Seat at the Table)

Boyfriend and I had my parents over for dinner, and I made two fabulous (if I do say so myself) pizzas:  white asparagus pizza, and BBQ chicken pizza (coming soon).  And as we’re digging in to said pizzas, my parents commented about how good they were and wondered why we don’t do this more often….and real talk, I know why.  It takes time, energy, planning, grocery shopping, organization, kitchen cleaning, more kitchen cleaning.  It’s not easy getting a seemingly simple meal out on the table (regardless of whether you’re entertaining or not).  So I’m not going to lie and tell you this was super simple and you’ll be able to throw it together in 30 minutes.  It takes some planning, but I can honestly tell you that this was so delicious, I’m already thinking about making it again and trying new pizzas too.  A cooking project can be fun, and if you’re super organized you could do all the prep early and whip this up on a week night because the pizzas cook so quickly.

I made my own dough, and just because I like a little extra stress in life, I made a 6-hour dough in 4 hours.  It worked out fine, but a little planning will definitely make this easier on you.  The dough is super simple, it just needs some time to rise.  Smitten Kitchen has several versions depending on how much time you have, so I used the 6-hour recipe, preheated the oven to 100°F, turned it off and stuck the bowl of dough in the oven to proof (a nice warm spot helps dough rise faster), and 4 hours later I called it done.  The dough was delicious, crunchy with just a hint of salt.  But if you’re not into making dough, you can easily buy pre-made dough.  Trader Joe’s has delicious dough in white flour or whole wheat flour versions.

Asparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables, and this pizza really highlights the asparagus.  I used a vegetable peeler to get thin ribbons of asparagus.  Shaved ribbons of asparagus really only work if you can find the bigger stalks, if you have small asparagus stalks you can just thinly slice them.

Instead of traditional tomato pizza sauce, this white asparagus pizza uses a blended ricotta cheese for a creamy layer with a hint of garlic.  And sharp provolone adds a salty, tangy flavor.  So tasty!White Asparagus Pizza (A Seat at the Table)

White Asparagus Pizza

Makes two 9×13″ thin crusts + toppings for 1 pizza

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and How Sweet It Is

For the dough (makes enough for 2 thin crust pizzas):

For the pizza:

  • 1 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, shaved with a peeler or thinly sliced
  • 4 oz sharp provolone, shredded
  • 2 tsp olive oil (if you have a flavored olive oil, this would be a good time to use one, I used a rosemary oil)

For the dough, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix well with a spoon until craggy, on the dry side.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for about 6 hours or until doubled in size.  If your house is especially cold, I recommend warming the oven a little, (no higher than about 100°F) turning it off and then placing your bowl in the oven.

Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 500°F (remove your dough if it’s in the oven first).  Lightly flour your counter and turn out the sticky dough onto the counter.  Sprinkle the top with a little more flour and then divide the dough in two (save one half for another pizza).  With floured hands, lift the dough and let is stretch out a few times.  Grease a large jellyroll pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle with course cornmeal.  Place the dough onto the pan and use your floured fingers to stretch it out into a thin rectangle, about 9×13″.  If any holes develop, just delicately patch them up.

For the pizza, combine the ricotta cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small food processor, and blend until well whipped.

Drizzle the pizza dough lightly with a little olive oil, then top with the ricotta mixture, spreading it all around, but leaving about 1″ border.  Top with the shredded provolone, and then topping it off with the shaved asparagus.

Bake at 500°F for about 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.  Let sit for a minute, then slice and serve.

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