Shaved Asparagus Offers a New Twist on a Classic Spring Vegetable - FineCooking.com

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Shaved Asparagus Offers a New Twist on a Classic Spring Vegetable

A perfect slice of pizza piled high with shaved asparagus ribbons.

A perfect slice of pizza piled high with shaved asparagus ribbons.

  • A perfect slice of pizza piled high with shaved asparagus ribbons.
  • The whole pie is assembled and ready for a quick bake at high heat.
  • What better to serve with a springtime pizza than some market-fresh strawberries?

By Alex Tillotson, contributor

March 28th, 2012

I don't know Annie, the owner of the beautiful blog Annie's Eats personally, but I secretly wish I did so that she might invite me over for dinner and whip up this amazing Shaved Asparagus Pizza for the two of us to enjoy. I guess it's not much of a secret anymore, huh?

Although this blog post and recipe came to life last year on her blog, you know it's a keeper when Annie features it on the slideshow she has on the upper right-hand corner of her site titled, "Annie's Picks: Spring Has Sprung!" This is why after seeing it (and wiping the drool from my chin) I decided I just had to share it with all of you.

This pizza recipe is takes a traditional white pizza to another level. You start by shaving the asparagus spears into delicate ribbons with your vegetable peeler. No mandolin needed here, which means easy clean up and you'll most likely still have all your fingers left to actually hold the pizza with, unless you're really, really bad at slicing fresh mozzarella with a knife. 

Once you've rolled the dough, you lay out the mozzarella in an even layer, cover it with the bounty of shaved asparagus ribbons and dot the pie with little dollops of a creamy garlic and herb cheese, like Boursin. Then a seasoning of salt and pepper and a quick bake for about 12 minutes is all that stands between you and this scrumptious, springtime pizza. 

The thing I love about this application of asparagus is that it's different from the more common preparations we've seen in the past. Don't get me wrong, I love whole roasted asparagus drizzled simply with olive oil and seasoned with salt, but the delicate nature of the asparagus ribbons is so unique.

Instead of chomping down on bulky spears when biting into your pizza, you get these impossibly thin ribbons that almost melt when cooked, providing a burst of asparagus flavor in every bite and an easier eating experience to boot.

With the abundance of asparagus coming into your local markets now, keeping this simple shaving technique in mind will expand the use asparagus in all of your dishes. Thin ribbons running through spaghetti or fettuccini with sautéed garlic, olive oil and a showering of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano couldn't be an easier weeknight supper. You could even shave the spears into omelets, salads or quiche, or use them as a garnish for a creamy asparagus and pea soup. It seems, truly, that the possibilities are endless. 

I think I know what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night. 

posted in: Blogs, baking, healthy, Pizza, Spring, asparagus
Comments (4)

Kohola writes: Alex, I tried this with store bought flatbreads, for a quickie version, and it's still pretty good!!!! Posted: 3:18 pm on June 1st

moorworkshop writes: Thanks. Great post. Posted: 4:40 pm on April 20th

alex_tillotson writes: @Kohola--I made it the other night too! It really was delicious. Definitely a great spring recipe to have on hand. I can see making these into mini pizzettes for an awesome party appetizer. Posted: 8:16 am on April 1st

Kohola writes: Made this tonight...WOW!!!!!!!!!! sooooo good!!!!!! Posted: 7:46 pm on March 29th

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