Let’s take advantage of those greens that are in season. Jersey asparagus. Sugar snap peas. Oh, and don’t forget the zucchini. So yum! As a child, I would do everything and anything to avoid eating green veggies. I can recall giving my folks such a hard time. Especially when it came to that dreaded asparagus. I was always grateful to my loyal dog, who would be happy to sit at my feet and help me through the ordeal. What was I thinking? Now, I see a sign in the local market that reads “Jersey Asparagus” and there’s no stopping me. I just have to have it!
This is a white pizza with some heartiness. Not the heavy type that’s loaded with oil and garlic. This one is loaded with flavor and texture that presents the fresh vegetables as the stars of the show.
It’s a good plan to work on the dough as your first step. Sometimes it can be stubborn and try to shrink back to the original size as you work with it. Be patient. You’ll win this battle. Just let it rest when it won’t cooperate and before you know it, you’ll have a perfectly shaped pizza shell.
The greens are parboiled before placing them on the pizza. Be cautious not to overcook them. They’ll cook some more in the oven and you don’t want them to be overdone. Placing them in ice water after the parboil ensures that the vegetables won’t continue to cook once they are removed from the boiling water.
The zucchini strips are placed on the pizza the moment it is removed from the oven. The heat of the pizza softens the raw strips to just the right texture.
Be sure to try this while the greens are in season. The freshness will surely shine through.
garden greens pizza
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 12 ounces fresh deli pizza dough
- 1 cup medium-thick asparagus spears, trimmed and cut diagonally in half
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 2/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (3/4 cup)
- 1 small zucchini, shaved lengthwise into thin slices using a mandolin or vegetable peeler
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F. (Do not remove pizza stone while oven preheats.)
Roll dough into a 13-inch circle on a large piece of parchment paper; pierce well with a fork. Place dough (on paper) on preheated stone. Bake at 500°F for 4 minutes.
Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus and peas; cook 2 minutes. Drain, and plunge into ice water; drain. Pat dry.
Combine ricotta, milk, and garlic in a small bowl. Spread mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Top pizza with mozzarella, asparagus, and peas. Bake at 500°F for 10 minutes.
While pizza cooks, toss zucchini with lemon juice and salt. Top pizza with zucchini mixture, lemon rind, basil, and black pepper. Cut into 8 slices.