Nothing says spring in the kitchen like asparagus, even when it’s decided to snow again outside. Darn…. but then I walked outside. It is sooo beautiful.
I took so many photos after the storm – they might find their way into a second post today. You won’t mind, will you?
I love to take walks out along the country roads, a little bit later into the season, and seek out the wild stuff, poking up in highly coveted patches here and there. Just like Euell Gibbons in Stalking the Wild Asparagus. If you miss it in the spring, watch for the waving, feathery fronds in the summer – asparagus gone unpicked! – and mark it on your mind’s eye map for the next year. Asparagus IS coming on elsewhere, though, and cannot be resisted! Do you love it as much as I do?
With a few very favorite ingredients, including a delicious fresh oregano and lemon pesto, a fantastic pizza will be ready in no time.
The pizza is fun, like all pizzas are – if pizza had a personality trait test….? – and so easy, with just a few simple steps. Here, marinating the asparagus in a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sea salt and a few grinds of pepper:
Grilling over medium high heat for several minutes:
And dressing up the crust like this:
Grilled Asparagus Pizza with Oregano Lemon Pesto
Makes one eight inch pizza, but easy to expand the recipe of course. Choose your favorite crust. These days, I often like to use Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts, they come two to a package in the freezer section at the market. Use a stove top grill pan, or an outdoor grill as you like for the recipe. You could also sauté the asparagus and bake the pizza…
- 1 or more pizza crusts of choice
- approximately 1/2 c. oregano lemon pesto (recipe below)
- 1 large ripe tomato, washed, cored and sliced
- 1 c. pitted kalamata olives
- 10-12 stalks fresh young asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
- a few tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- a few tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 c. or as desired, shredded Fontina, Havarti, or other favorite cheese
Oregano Lemon Pesto
In food processor, puree-
- 1 c. packed fresh oregano leaves
- small handful toasted almonds, or pine nuts
- 2 to 3 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 c. shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese, if desired
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 c. olive oil, added slowly
Then prepare the asparagus. Find a wide flat dish and place them in – then splash a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them, a little sea salt, a few grinds of your favorite pepper (mine is a five peppercorn at the moment). Turn the stalks in the marinade several times while you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat grill over medium high heat. Grill asparagus, turning after a minute or two, until stalks are evenly cooked. Let them caramelize just a bit. Off grill, cool slightly and slice diagonally.
Smear the pizza crust with pesto. Add the tomato slices, asparagus, scatter the olives, and the shredded Fontina cheese. Grill the pizza, covered, just until the cheese melts and the crust is lightly browned.
Another fun pizza recipe from last fall: Italian Plum and Gorgonzola Pizza with Caramelized Onion and Toasted Walnuts