Shaved Asparagus Pizza
Erin MacGregor, P.H.Ec., RD
Excerpted from Homegrown, by Mairlyn Smith. Reprinted with permission of Whitecap Books.
“Pizza is a year round winner, but this version has major spring flair. Shaving the asparagus gives it a light feel and is visually stunning. Look for stalks thick enough to shave with a vegetable peeler. If the stalks are too thin, slice them thinly on the diagonal.” —Erin
1 large bulb of garlic
2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil, divided
2 cups (500 mL) thick stalk asparagus (approx. 1 bunch)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) iodized salt
1/4–1/2 tsp (1–2 mL) fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup (185 mL) light Canadian ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped basil
3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup (180 mL) whole wheat flour, divided
3/4 cup (180 mL) all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) natural wheat bran
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed
One 1/4 oz (8 g) envelope pizza yeast (see note)
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar
3/4 tsp (4 mL) iodized salt
2/3 cup (150 mL) very warm water (120–130°F/48–54°C)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
Pizza Yeast—Homemade pizza right out of the oven is hard to beat and the good news for lovers of homemade pizza is, it just got easier. Fleischmann’s has come up with an easy to use yeast formulated especially for pizza making—applicably sold as “Pizza Yeast.” All you do is add the yeast to your dry ingredients, add the liquid ingredients, mix and knead, skipping the rising process. If you can’t find pizza yeast, use quick rise yeast and follow the directions on the package using the ingredients in this recipe.
1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. Remove outer layers of loose skin from garlic bulb. Cut 1/2 inch (1 cm) off the top of the bulb (the pointed end), exposing the inside of the individual cloves. Place cut side up on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and wrap bulb tightly in foil. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes in an oven-safe dish. When cool enough to handle, turn bulb upside down and squeeze out the softened brown cloves. Start the pizza once the garlic has cooled.
3. To make the toppings, start by holding the asparagus stalks by their thick woody ends and use a vegetable peeler to shave each spear into thin ribbons. Transfer shavings into a large bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, roasted garlic, basil, chives and red pepper flakes (if using). Set aside.
5. To make the dough, mix together 1/4 cup (60 mL) whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour in a small bowl and set aside.
6. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the whole wheat and all-purpose flours, wheat bran, flaxseed, pizza yeast, sugar and salt. Add water and oil and mix until well blended. Add the reserved flour as needed to make a smooth dough.
7. Turn dough and any loose pieces out on to a well-floured surface.
8. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 3 minutes.
9. Press or roll dough out to fill a pizza pan. Set aside.
10. Spread ricotta mixture over uncooked crust leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) border. Top evenly with shaved asparagus.
11. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until crust is brown and asparagus begins to char. Cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing. Serve.
Makes one 12-inch (30 cm) pizza crust One serving = 1/6 pizza
Per serving: 307 Calories, 12.3 g Total Fat, 3 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 574 mg Sodium, 35.7 g Carbohydrate, 5.3 g Fibre, 6.5 g Sugars, 3.2 g Added Sugars, 14 g Protein - Carbohydrate Choices: 2