Friday, April 17, 2009

Pizza with Asparagus and Potatoes...

Before I forget to mention it, last week I did get out one of the final treats we will be sending off to Jeff's niece. We've been doing for the past few months as a Treat of the Month for her as a graduation gift. Let's hit up the recap - first was a batch of those Outrageous Oreo Brownies back in September... in October, those Chocolate Malted M&M Cookies went out to her... November's treat brought that Smaller Batch Penuche Fudge... December was that addicting Gingerbread Popcorn.

This first month of 2009, we packaged up those decadent Butterfinger Crunch Blondies, followed up by a treat for Valentine's Day in February, those marshmallow fondant-topped Sugar Cookie hearts. March we did those novel Root Beer Float Cookies and this month? I went to a recipe that we still prepare fairly oven - those Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies!

A basic, but tasty, chocolate cookie wrapped around a sweet hidden caramel center, thanks to those classic Rolo candies! Hard to pass one of these up!

What can I say, it was such a beautiful Friday today - with all the windows wide open, we let the warm breeze clean out the staleness of winter in the house! With spring in mind, this Asparagus, Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza I made for our Friday Night Pizza was such a terrific way to bring this lovely day to a close.

Listening to the hum of the food processor whirling away, I knew it was only going to be a short minute before our favorite homemade whole-wheat pizza dough had come together. Before I nestled the dough away in its bowl to rise, I gave it a few quick kneads by hand just to make sure it felt right.

Since that was ready, I started boiling a few baby potatoes to give them a jump start - I used a combo of purple and Yukon gold. You only need about five ounces of the potatoes, which was literally three small ones - if you happen to have fingerling potatoes, they would be a nice fit here! Allow enough time for them to become tender and then cool down so you can handle them without issue. Right before you roll out the dough, slice the potatoes into thin rounds - they don't need to be paper thin, but you want to make sure you get enough to clutter the top.

Once the dough was rolled out, we brushed the entire surface with olive oil that we added a minced clove of garlic to. The first ingredient added to the pizza came in the form of thinly sliced green onions - scattering them over the bottom gives them some protection from the intense heat the oven. An ample amount of shredded mozzarella came next, followed by the colorful potatoes and creamy crumbles of goat cheese. Fresh asparagus that we halved length wise, then sliced into pieces, was tossed with a bit of olive oil and arranged over the top. Now, before you add the final ingredient, don't forget to season the asparagus layer with salt and fresh ground black pepper to perk them up! Lastly, one more cheese was added to bring the total to three - we used fresh grated Asiago for its nutty bite, but if you happen to have some sharp Parmesan handy, I wouldn't hesitate to toss that on instead!

Since the asparagus was added raw, we didn't pre-bake the crust so it could stand up to the time needed to cook those through. Just as the pizza comes out of the oven, add a smattering of additional fresh green onions on top to freshen it up. While this pizza was quite busy in the ingredient department, they all weaved a cohesive web and made for an explosive combination! Brushing the crust with the garlic oil was such a clever way to work in just a whisper of its pungent note without the worry of it being distracting. Jeff saw the dough covered in tangy goat cheese and made the comment that it looked like too much for this pizza, but he took that back as soon as he took a few bites - he agreed it was actually just right thanks to the weight of the mild potatoes. The pop of color from the purple potatoes and asparagus added to the visual punch, while also keeping it whimsical and unique! There is so much more to the world of pizza than just pepperoni or cheese - don't be afraid to break the mold and go a little crazy!


  1. The pizza looks gorgeous!


  2. Quinn - The visual appeal is high with this pizza!

  3. You're the best uncles. I love the idea of sending cookies. And what a great pizza tonight. Have a good week-end.

  4. Your niece is so lucky. Man oh man, am I jealous. Those caramel-filled chocolate cookies look divine. And, of course, your pizza is incredible too. I'm actually craving pizza for dinner tonight, so I might just have to try out your recipe :)

  5. Helene - Thanks! The cookies have been working out well I think.

    Elyse - Hope you do!