Asparagus has a noble and colorful past reaching back to the days of ancient Egypt where it is pictured as an offering on a frieze from 3000 BC. The Romans were known to freeze asparagus high in the Alps, to be savored for the Feast of Epicurius. Emperor Augustus reserved the Asparagus Fleet for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression, "faster than cooking asparagus" to mean quick action.
Rich in nutrients and a great source of folic acid and potassium, its addition on what most of us would consider a popular comfort food is very interesting and quite tempting when it comes to deciding how many slices to eat in one sitting.
But then again, why count? Life is short. Just make this recipe, sit back, invite three friends over, (it serves 4) take a bite and enjoy.
Tip: Keeping the asparagus raw will result in a slightly crunchy asparagus. If you want a softer, more cooked texture, then blanch asparagus pieces before adding to pizza.
1 pound whole wheat pizza dough
1 pound asparagus, cut into chunks
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup arugula
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. If you are using traditional raw pizza dough, let it set out until room temperature. This will help make the dough more pliable and easier to use while shaping the crust. Shape into a large pizza crust or make into mini pizzas. Add to cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.
3. Drizzle top with olive oil, leaving a little extra since we will not be using a red sauce on this pizza.
4. Add one cup of the mozzarella cheese to the top of the pizza.
5. Top with asparagus chunks and green onions.
6. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and lightly sprinkle the outside crust with freshly cracked black pepper and Kosher salt.
7. Place in oven and cook for about 18 minutes for a large pie and 10 minutes for a small pie or until cooked through and the crust is puffy.
8. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes and top with a couple handfuls of baby arugula and sliced parmesan.