Becky Ringsby of Savor Specialty Chef Services recently led a Wheatsfield Cooperative cooking class on one of everyone’s favorite signs of spring – Asparagus! Since she want to keep this veggie on the dinner table for as many nights as she can, Becky has devised a repertoire of recipes which highlight the crisp, bright green herald of spring!
Makes 1 pizza
• 2 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 lb asparagus
• 1/2 c chopped leeks
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• ¾- 1 lb pizza dough, depending on how thick you like your dough
• 3/4 c shredded smoked mozzarella or provolone cheese
• 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 c chopped chives or rosemary
• Optional: Chopped prosciutto
Place a pizza stone or large pizza pan in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 2 Tbsp oil and garlic in a small bowl; set aside. If desired, you may sauté (or microwave) the leeks to soften slightly. For an elegant, spoke like effect on your final pizza, trim asparagus spears to about 6 inches long; slicing any thicker stalks in half lengthwise. You may also chop spears to 1-inch lengths instead which makes eating a little easier. Regardless of your method, toss asparagus in a bowl with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Becky prefers thinner pizzas, and uses ¾ lb of dough which she rolls out on a lightly floured surface to about a 14-inch circle.
Remove the preheated pizza stone or pan from the oven. Place the dough on the stone or pan, poke with a fork, and brush with the reserved garlic-oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Top evenly with the leeks. Arrange the asparagus in a circular pattern on the dough with the tips facing out (or evenly top the dough with the chopped spears). Top with the prosciutto, if using. Sprinkle with the cheese and herbs.
Return the stone or pan to the oven and bake the pizza until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes. Finish with another dash of salt.