Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pizza Primavera

Pizza Primavera

Every year, around this time, I wax poetic about my love for spring.  You guys can all have fall, I'll take spring year round if I could.  I went for a run today in 85 degree weather, and it made me SO happy.  Despite the oppressive pollen counts, the kids and I have been spending as much time as possible outside, and again, it makes me SO happy.  And finally, what makes me most happy of all, spring produce!  I love incorporating spring veggies into as many of my meals and dishes as possible.  I'm a big fan of pasta primavera, so naturally, in my pizza-loving world, the next step was pizza primavera.

Y'all, this pizza.  It's really amazing.  It basically combines several of my favorite pizzas into one amazing, veggie-loaded pizza.  We start with a garlicky white sauce, then top it with shaved asparagus, roasted cherry tomatoes, onions, spinach, and mushrooms.  I used a combo of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, but I think fontina and/or goat cheese would be absolutely fabulous here too.  I sprinkled the finished pizza with fresh herbs, and this went down in history as one of my favorite pizzas ever.  Coincidentally, Caroline proclaimed it to BE her favorite pizza ever, and laid claim to the leftovers for her lunch.  This veggie pizza puts all other veggie pizzas to shame.  Served with a strawberry-spinach salad, you have spring dinner perfection.

Spring, we welcome you with open arms!  I hope you guys are as enamored with spring produce as I am, because I have a huge backlog of recipes, just waiting to be shared!

Pizza Primavera 

Pizza Primavera
makes 1 pizza
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 4-5 thick spears of asparagus, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced vidalia onion
  • 3-4 baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs fresh minced basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.  Remove from the oven, place a pizza stone in the oven, and increase the temperature to 500 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the white sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until golden and bubbly, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk, and add the garlic cloves.  Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and bubbles.  Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese.  Discard the garlic.

To prepare the pizza, sprinkle a large square of parchment paper with cornmeal or semolina flour.  Roll and stretch the dough into a 14-15 inch circle or oval, and brush the perimeter with olive oil.  

Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the dough, leaving a border all the way around (you will have some sauce leftover -- it's great for dipping the pizza into!).  Scatter the chopped spinach over the sauce, then sprinkle 2/3 cup of the mozzarella over the spinach.  Arrange the shaved asparagus over the cheese, then top with the roasted tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms.  

Finish by sprinkling the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the top.  Carefully transfer the pizza + parchment to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  

Sprinkle with the scallions and basil, slice, and serve.


Josie said...

I've had my eye on this cheese for.ever. and I'm finally pulling the trigger on it this weekend. Big plans, my friend, big plans. :)

Josie said...

You will not be disappointed!!

Josie said...

I can't wait to make this!! Screams spring!

Josie said...

Haha I think for me that ingredient is chipotle or poblano...such a sucker for those two! Chorizo salsa is new to me...but sounds so good!

Josie said...

Your pizza flavor combos are always THE BEST!! Love all the veggies on this.

Josie said...

Hi Josie, your pizza looks soooo mouthwatering! It's definitely a spring welcoming pizza. We like adding cornmeal on the bottom crust.... you should give it a try next time.

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