I picked up The Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman at the library this week, and we’ve never eaten so well in our lives because of it. After tonight’s pizza and leek fritters, my husband insists I buy the book, no matter the cost ($21.93 on Amazon, in case you’re curious).
I didn’t make her exact shaved asparagus pizza because I like our whole wheat pizza dough recipe. And because step 3 in my 7 Steps to a Healthier Home for this week is to use more whole grains. I did use Deb’s cooking method (500 degrees for 12 minutes, instead of 350 degrees for 20), which exponentially improved the crust’s taste and texture. And as for the roasted shaved asparagus? Our eyes were rolling back in our heads.
If you’ve never tried making your own pizza dough, this recipe is not much harder than taking a ready-made dough out of your freezer. And as for any little people in your house who might be afraid of shaved green strips, leave part of the pizza plain–more for you.
SHAVED ASPARAGUS PIZZA (from The Smitten Kitchen)
1 pizza dough (see my recipe below)
1/2 pound asparagus
2t olive oil
1/2t course salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 scallion thinly sliced
(I also used tomato sauce, but Smitten Kitchen omits this)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Shave the asparagus into strips with a good peeler by holding the large end of it. Place the strips in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out your dough and then sprinkle it with Parmesan and then the mozzarella. Pile on the asparagus shavings and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese bubbles and asparagus looks slightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle on the scallions.
EASY WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup gluten (optional, but this makes it softer and more doughy)
2t sea salt
3T olive oil
1 cup warm water
Mix the flour, gluten, salt and yeast in a food processor. While it’s running, slowly add the olive oil and the warm water. If the dough is not wet enough, add a little more, a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too wet, remove it and knead in a little more flour. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover it with a wet towel. Keep it in a warm place (like your oven with just the light on) for at least an hour.