White pizza is a strange beast. For me, one of the highlights of pizza is the sauce, so the idea of a white pizza doesn’t sound very exciting. In a lot of restaurants you’ll find white pizza topped with arugula salad, which is lovely. But when you use it as a base for a heaping pile of roasted vegetables, things suddenly get more interesting.
Enter asparagus. Folate and potassium rich, gorgeously green, it’s an ideal topping for pizza. Especially a white pizza, since it is delicious roasted. With a bit of lemony kick, this is a very flavorful pie. You’re basically making an asparagus salad and sticking it on top of pizza. Sound good? I thought so.
For the pizza dough itself, you can pick up some fresh whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s or your other local grocery store, or you can make your own – I particularly like this recipe, which I gleefully featured on my old blog when I discovered it. I wouldn’t use a pre-baked pizza crust (like Boboli) for this if you can avoid it, because the first step is an important one for imparting yummy flavor in your dough. If you do go for a pre-baked crust, then skip the pre-baking step I mentioned below.
Asparagus White Pizza (makes one 12″)
- 1 whole wheat pizza dough, rolled out to about 1/4″ thick.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- pinch of cracked red pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends discarded
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Place the pizza dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet and brush with 1 tsp olive oil, then top with the red pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until it is starting to get slightly browned.
2. Meanwhile, slice the asparagus spears at an angle into 1/2-inch pieces. Put in a bowl and drizzle with the remaining 2 tsp olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together and set aside.
3. Get the partially cooked pizza dough out of the oven and top with the cheese. (It’s not a lot of cheese, but don’t worry, it should be enough). Top with the asparagus pieces and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is nicely roasted and the pizza dough is cooked through. Slice and serve.