As much as I love our local pizza joint, I also love making pizza at home. Pizza is one of those blank canvases that you can really play around and get creative with. It’s also a great thing to make for a bunch of people since it cooks so quickly and you can accommodate for different tastes and eating restrictions.
Fresh asparagus that follows my rules has finally at the local veggie market. It’s been so long! In celebration, I created a spring time pizza with asparagus and feta and the pea shoot pesto that I made recently (whose leftovers were stored in the freezer…freezer pesto = one of the most useful things ever.)
I often make my own dough for pizza. Lately, I’ve been using this long rise, cold fermented dough I found on Food 52, but I’ve also been known to get the frozen dough from my local Italian grocery store (I think it’s better than the stuff you get at the regular grocery store.) I keep hearing people say that you can get dough at your local pizza place, but I’ve never done that…
About an hour before you want to make pizza, crank up your oven as hot as it will go. For me, that 550 degrees. You want only one rack in your oven, at the very bottom…and you want to have your pizza stone on it. Don’t have a pizza stone? Get one. They’re inexpensive and I leave mine in the oven at all times. It helps keep the temperature regulated and I’m always ready to make pizza! Win win.
While your oven is heating up, get all of the stuff together that you want to put on your pizza. For this one, you want:
– A bunch of fresh asparagus, chopped into fairly fine pieces (tips left whole, please!)
– Some pesto, preferably the pea shoot pesto that you also made recently
– Some fresh mozzarella
– Some feta
– A block of Parmesan cheese and grater
Notice that I didn’t give quantities? It will really depend on how big you are making your pizza.
Now, take about 1/3 of your dough and get it into a vaguely round shape. I like to roll out my dough and kinda stretch/pull it…I have even been known to use a wine bottle as a rolling pin in a pinch at the cottage. I’m resourceful that way.
I like to place the pizza dough onto a pizza peel covered in cornmeal. The cornmeal helps the pizza slide into the oven somewhat gracefully. Don’t have a pizza peel? I’ve used a baking sheet in a MacGyver-like-brilliant-moment in the past. Feel free to get creative…or get a pizza peel.
Now blob your pesto fairly evenly over the dough and then scatter on the asparagus, mozzarella and feta. Yes, you are putting raw asparagus onto a pizza. Yes, it will be good. Cook it first and you will have overcooked asparagus on your pizza. You don’t want that.
Give your pizza a nice shower of Parmesan cheese and gracefully slide it into the oven. I like to give it a little shake first to make sure that it’s not sticking. Depending on how hot your oven is, you will want to cook your pizza about 7-10 minutes, turning it about halfway through. Until it looks like this:
Yum! Let it cool very briefly and then slice it up and bask in the glory as you serve (or just devour) your homemade pizza.