Monday, May 16, 2011

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza

Pizza is such a magical thing. It's filling and comforting and familiar, but at the same time you can put crazy toppings on it and make something totally different from the traditional pizza you are used to.

I wanted to put my favorite springtime flavors (lemon, asparagus, goat cheese) on a crust and call it a pizza. It was incredibly good, with the exception of my cheapo lazy cop-out of a crust from a pop open can. It would have been so much better with a homemade crust but I don't like making dough. My summertime challenge is to find a local pizza place that will sell me a delicious ball of pizza dough for a reasonable price (and would it be too much to ask for whole wheat?).

But even despite the crust, I loved having this pizza for the first al fresco dinner of the year on my back deck with a fresh radicchio salad and a glass of chilled white wine. Spring really truly has finally sprung!

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 3-4

1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
1/2 bunch asparagus, peeled with a vegetable peeler
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper and olive oil
1 log goat cheese
parmesan cheese
flat leaf parsley, chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together your peeled asparagus, juice of 1 lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it sit to let the flavors meld 5-10 minutes.

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Crumble goat cheese over crust in an even layer. Top with lemony shaved asparagus. Finely grate a layer of parmesan cheese over the whole pizza.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until crust is nicely browned at the edges and your asparagus has a bit of char on it. Immediately top with lemon zest, parsley, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Add more salt and pepper and parmesan cheese if needed.

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