There has been a common ingredient in my past two CSA bins that have arrived at my doorstep on Friday evenings. For the last two weeks, my bin has had asparagus in it. And I absolutely LOVE asparagus. But I hadn’t even used the previous week’s bunch and here I was with a fresh stock of it as well. I needed to come up with something…and fast. I could always toss it in with pasta…or make up a risotto, both options I have done before. But…I wanted to try something different. Think outside the box.
And thanks to a pin that showed up on my feed on Pinterest, I had to look no further than a simple pizza.
This truly was a simple pizza, made with ricotta cheese, asparagus, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. That’s it.
I figured, why not try it? After all…I had some vegan ricotta cheese lingering in my fridge and now had a recipe to use it in again.
So, last night for dinner, I baked up a gluten-free version of the recipe that was posted on Just A Taste, a blog about exploring life through food. Hmmm…my kind of blog. Anyway, I made the necessary adjustments to make this fit into my gluten-free diet. Below is my version of the original recipe.
Recipe: Gluten-Free Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza
Servings: 2 (half of the pizza)
Time: Prep: 15 minutes; Bake 10 minutes
- 1 Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust, or gluten-free crust of your choosing or making
- Cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet/pizza stone
- Olive oil
- 3/4 cups ricotta (I used Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
- 1 pound asparagus (medium thickness)
- Lemon, for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
Sprinkle your baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal. Place the pizza dough/crust on the baking sheet and brush the top lightly all over with olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley. Season the cheese mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus length-wise into thin ribbons. (There’s no need to remove the tough ends first, as you can use them to more easily grip the asparagus as you peel them. Just make sure not to shave off any of the tougher part.) In a small bowl, toss the ribbons with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Spread the cheese mixture all over the pizza, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges, then evenly distribute the asparagus ribbons on top of the cheese.
Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating it half-way through, until the crust is fully baked and golden brown.
Remove the pizza from the oven to a cutting board, drizzle it with fresh lemon juice.
Slice and serve.
The picture over on the blog I got the original recipe for was much prettier than mine…but my vegetable peeler was not liking the asparagus. It just didn’t want to shave it cleanly. So, I made do with what I could manage. And probably got a little overzealous with the amount I put on the pizza…but…it was a nice change of pace for a pizza.
I loved how even the vegan ricotta cheese melted down to creamy perfection, forming the perfect base layer for this pizza. When roasted in the oven on the pizza, the asparagus took on the texture of a green pepper. It was fantastic. I loved each bite of this pizza. And the crust was golden and crispy and held up to the unwieldy toppings that I tossed on there. Next time…prettier asparagus shavings. But this was good for a first attempt. I would totally make this again. And I might have to try other pizzas with that vegan ricotta base. The creaminess mixed with the crunch of the crust and the crisp, oven-roasted asparagus really made the texture of this pizza perfect.
I encourage you to experiment with some asparagus…and whip it up on a pizza. It was amazing.