Kuisine by Kathy - Pizza time, use asparagus - Tucson Local Media: Liven Up

Kuisine by Kathy - Pizza time, use asparagus

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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:00 am

I thought with asparagus being in season, I would share what has become a favorite in our house. Growing up, I just ate pepperoni pizza, and nothing else.

I didn’t like vegetables unless it was a potato or a can of corn.  I was reading a while back about the different uses for asparagus and I thought, how about a pizza?  We eat pizza once a week at our house and no pizza is the same.  I didn’t put any sauce on it as the carmalization of the onions and peppers and the cheeses mixed with the olive oil and garlic really make it great.  I think that if you added sauce, it would take away from the whole concept of asparagus pizza.

Here is the recipe where I always make a homemade crust.

I think for this recipe it is imperative to use a thin crust.

 

THIN & CRISPY PIZZA DOUGH:

.25 packet active dry yeast

1/4 tsp. sugar

3/4 cup 110-degree water

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Combine the yeast, sugar and water in mixing bowl.  Let it rest for 8 minutes to let the yeast start working.  Add the flour and salt.  Mix well by hand or use a stand mixer w/dough hook.  Let set for 10 minutes covered with a towel.  Lightly spray with cooking spray a 12-inch pizza pan, stretch the dough out and top as desired.   Preheat oven to 500 degrees and move oven rack to the lowest possible rack.  Place pizza in oven and bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

 First, take a julienne peeler or a potato peeler and “peel” your asparagus (about a 1/2 lb.).  Place on a sheet pan and toss with 1 T. of olive oil.  Bake at 450 degrees for five minutes or just until slightly brown.  Set aside.

Then prepare red bell peppers and onions for carmelization. (I always make a large batch to make it worth the while.  On this pizza, I only use about 1 1/2 cups.

Carmalized onions and peppers

(this will make a large batch; but I make the whole batch, as they are great on burgers, in stews and soups)

Heat in a very large skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted:

3T. real butter

3T. olive oil

Add:

3 lbs of very thinly sliced onions (can be red, white or yellow)

Four very thinly sliced red bell peppers (can be red, yellow, orange or green)

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Cook, stirring constantly, 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and brown, about 45 minutes.  If the residue from the juices has built up in the pan, add:  1/2 cup white wine or water (wine is best).  Stir to scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits.  They will immediately mix into the veggies, darkening them further.  Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Now, you are ready to assemble the pizza.

On your pizza crust, brush 2 T. or so of olive oil.  Crush one clove of fresh garlic over olive oil and spread out evenly.  Now sprinkle 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 2 oz. of goat cheese over dough.  If you are unfamiliar with goat cheese, it is really good. 

Now you can place your browned sausage, caramelized onions/peppers, sun dried tomatoes** and top with asparagus.  Sprinkle another cup of mozzarella cheese over that and bake at 500 degrees on the lowest oven rack for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

**I get these dandy sun dried tomatoes preserved in olive oil at Costco.  They are a staple at our house.  We put them on salad, mix them with a block of cream cheese for a great cracker spread, throw them on pizza, put them on top of a burger or sandwich or just eat them out of the jar.  Check them out.  You will not be disappointed.

(Editor’s Note: Chef Kathy owns and operates Kuisine by Kathy, a personal chef service in Oro Valley.  Contact Chef Kathy at kathybullerman@yahoo.com.  Visit her website at www.kuisinebykathy.com.)

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