UPDATE: 2/12/12: See one of my readers’ review on this recipe here!
Hey all! This is a simple recipe that I made the other day for a lunch and this was a HUGE hit! Change things up by baking this in a square pan instead of a round one – cut square pieces and enjoy as finger food or with a salad to complete a light meal! The fresh asparagus and tomato slices gives you a burst of fresh flavor and skipping the tomato sauce makes this dish a lot lighter than your regular, every-day pizza.
Remember you can make this dish look super fancy by arranging the asparagus spears and tomatoes in a beautiful arrangement – when you are entertaining, if your presentation is beautiful, people always seem to enjoy the food even more! 😉
Hope you enjoy this recipe :).
Yields: 4-6 appetizer servings or 3-4 entree
1 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough (both Whole Foods and Trader Joes sell it in the refrigerated section, and they are delicious!)
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (adds a bite to the pizza!)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
[Note: you can use a cheese blend of your choice if you want]
one handful of asparagus spears, trimmed, washed, and dried (preferably thin asparagus, if available)
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onion (green part)
AFTER BAKING PIZZA
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare your rolling surface for the dough by sprinkling 1/2 of your all-purpose flour on the flat surface (this prevents your pizza dough from sticking). Using a rolling pin, roll out your pizza dough on your floured surface. Roll it so that you end up with a crispy, Italian-style pizza (if you prefer to roll it thicker, increase your baking time so that you don’t end up with raw pizza dough!).
Spray your pizza pan with cooking spray and pick up the rolled pizza dough from your surface and move it to the greased pan. Don’t worry if your pizza dough looks too small for the pan at this point, or is an odd shape! The great thing about pizza dough is that it stretches! Now stretch the dough to fit the pizza pan (your pan can be circular or rectangular, your choice!). Using two fingers (index and middle), work around the edge of the pizza pan and dough and compact the edges so they sit perfectly on the edge of the pan (your dough should not be spilling over the sides of the pan, but rather contained on the pan).
Drizzle the olive oil on the pizza dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the kosher salt.
Now bake the pizza in your preheated oven for 3-5 minutes (depends on your oven strength). This allows the crust to cook a little for extra crispiness in your end product.
Now add the cheese, asparagus, tomato slices & green onion. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the pizza is done to your desired crispiness.
VARIATIONS ON THIS RECIPE: Use a pesto sauce or Alfredo sauce if you don’t like your pizza sans-sauce. Or try adding roasted corn AFTER you have pulled the pizza out of the oven before serving. YUMMO!!!