Beautiful green stalks of tender asparagus have been plentiful around here. When it comes to my list of favorite vegetables unfortunately asparagus resides at the bottom of the list. I don’t exactly dislike it. Well, okay, maybe at one time I disliked it, but now it just isn’t my veggie of choice.
When it comes to nutrition there is really no reason why this spring vegetable shouldn’t be enjoyed. That is the case with most vegetables though, right? Our bodies need that produce and asparagus is full of vitamin K, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C.
This is the first year that I’ve had the chance to really experiment with it, though, and I’m finding that I enjoy it a bit more with each dish. For example, my brother threw some on the grill the other day and it was fabulous. I didn’t put a thing on it; straight off the grill and into my mouth. Excellent.
Tonight I decided I would try topping a pizza with some asparagus my dad had brought in from the garden yesterday. I combined roasted garlic with a basic white sauce. Then spread this over a wheat pizza crust and topped it with steamed asparagus and mozzarella cheese.
My original plan was to add caramelized onions, but I opened the fridge to find that we were all out. So I decided to use another garden treat and chopped up some scallions. I sprinkled these on the pizza as soon as it came out of the oven.
I find white sauce pizzas to be a pleasant change from the standard and this was no exception. Turns out asparagus is quite a tasty pizza topping.
1 head of garlic
1 wheat pizza crust
1 cup asparagus, chopped into medium sized pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (chicken stock would work too)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup scallions, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice off the top 1/3 of the head of garlic. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and coat with olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast for 45 to 60 min. Work on the rest of the pizza as it bakes and set aside when finished.
Steam the asparagus just until tender and bright green. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small sauce pan and sprinkle in flour. Use a whisk to stir constantly creating a roux. Slowly pour in milk as you whisk and allow mixture to cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Once it reaches your desired consistency (preferably a thick sauce) squeeze the head of garlic into the sauce. Whisk to break up garlic and then add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread sauce on crust and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with the asparagus and the remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. When I make my crust I partially bake it before adding the toppings so it takes about 15 additional minutes for the pizza to finish.
Once out of the oven top it with the scallions and serve.