June 12, 2013 by Meg G.
Friends, get ready to go fetch some asparagus. Once you realize just how easy and delicious this pizza recipe is, you won’t be able to resist shaving those stalks into lovely little ribbons of green, sautéing some shallots, and piling on two kinds of cheese.
This recipe was inspired by one of our favorites from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, but I made a few significant substitutions. My apologies for the somewhat vague ingredient list, I made it up as I went along. It’s pizza. Trust me. Trust yourself. Here goes!
Shaved Asparagus + Ricotta Pizza – inspired by Smitten Kitchen
- your favorite pizza dough recipe (we used 2 small pre-made shells from Olga’s, a local bakery)
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus
- freshly grated parmesan
- a good dose of part-skim ricotta
- a glug of olive oil
- several grinds of coarse salt
- several grinds black pepper
- fresh lemon juice
- Preheat your oven according to your recipe instructions. Generally, the hotter the better. Alternatively, fire up the grill. (It was practically monsooning out, so I went with the oven.)
- Over a medium-low heat, sauté the shallots in some olive oil until they start to brown. Just let them hang out, stirring them every few minutes, while you shave the asparagus. This took about 12 minutes.
- Using the tough end of the asparagus as your handle, shave off long ribbons of raw asparagus with a veggie peeler. You will quickly learn a) that you can shave two at a time and b) not to be overly concerned about creating consistently sized ribbons. Some will cook more than others and that will only add to the texture and interest of the dish. Discard/compost the tough ends.
- Place the ribbons in a large bowl, add a glug of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir and let sit for a moment.
- Assemble by layering in the following order: freshly grated parmesan, spoonfuls of ricotta, shallots, and asparagus.
- Bake in the oven according to your recipe instructions. We only needed 8 minutes in a 450F oven, but the pizza shells were partially cooked and very thin. Keep an eye on these little guys – they can burn quickly!
- Finish the pizzas with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired. After all, asparagus and lemon are one of those perfect combinations.
Deb’s recipe calls for mozz instead of ricotta and a garnish of fresh scallions instead of sautéed shallots. I have made it both ways and both are delicious, but I have to say, I prefer my take on it! There’s something about the ricotta and the sweetness of the shallots that deepens the flavor. I mean, there’s a time and a place for stringy mozzarella cheese pizza (in fact, most times and places are!); however, this time around, something about the ricotta just sealed the deal.