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Pizza with Asparagus and Artichokes

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Pizzeria
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Active Time:  35 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 15 Minutes
  Makes one 9-inch pizza
It is common to see seasonal offerings in pizzerias throughout Italy. Here, asparagus and artichokes celebrate the arrival of spring.
Ice water
3 baby artichokes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
10 asparagus tips, each about 2 inches long
3 thin slices yellow onion, optional
olive oil, if using onion
4-6 caramelized garlic cloves, optional
1/2 recipe Neapolitan pizza dough completed through the second rising (see recipe)
All-purpose flour for dusting
5 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
3 ounces fontina cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons freshly grated Italian parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Other necessary recipes:
Neapolitan Pizza Dough
Pizza with Asparagus and Artichokes Recipe at
Fill a saucepan three-fourths full with water. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Trim the stems of the artichoke halves even with the bottoms. Add the halves to the saucepan; add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Cook the artichokes until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Remove and immerse in the ice water to halt the cooking. Drain and lay on paper towels to dry.

Ready a second bowl of ice water. Bring a saute pan three-fourths full of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus tips and blanch for 6-8 seconds. Remove and immerse in the ice water to halt the cooking. Drain and lay on paper towels to dry.

If using the onion slices, in a small frying pan over medium heat, warm enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan lightly. Add the onion and saute until soft, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. If using the caramelized garlic cloves, prepare as directed and set aside.

Place a pizza stone or unglazed terra-cotta tiles on the lowest rack of an oven. Preheat to 500 degrees F.

Place the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Sprinkle on a little more flour and press evenly into a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick and 5 inches in diameter. Lift the dough and gently stretch it with your fingers and then over the backs of your fists, using the weight of the dough to allow it to grow in size. Stretch and rotate the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick and 9 inches in diameter and has a rim about 1/2 inch thick. Try not to let the center of the disk become too thin. Dust the peel or baking sheet with more flour and gently lay the disk in the center.

Arrange the asparagus, artichoke hearts, and onion slices and garlic, if using, evenly atop the dough, then scatter the basil over all. Arrange the Fontina slices evenly over the vegetables, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently shake the peel or baking sheet to make sure the pizza has not stuck to it. Using the peel or baking sheet like a large spatula, quickly slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone or tiles.

Bake until the edges are golden and crisp, 8-9 minutes. Remove the pizza with a large metal spatula and slide it onto a dinner plate. Sprinkle the Parmesan and parsley evenly over the pizza and serve at once.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 The Big Cheese: Pizzas
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes one 9-inch pizza
Calories: 259
Fat. Total: 11g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrates, Total: 30g
Sodium: 518mg
% Cal. from Fat: 38%
Cholesterol: 27mg
Protein: 13g
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