Makes two 12-inch pizzas
If you think you’ve run out of ways to capitalize on asparagus season, perhaps you haven’t tried the spears on pizza. This is topped with a tangle of asparagus shavings that hide oozy fontina and red potatoes. One way to ensure a really crisp crust is to bake the pizza on a baking sheet in the bottom of the oven until it is firm, and then transfer it, without the pan, to the oven rack on the top shelf to finish cooking.
|Flour (for sprinkling)|
|1||pound commercial pizza dough|
|8||baby red or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|12||thick stalks asparagus (about 12 ounces)|
|Cornmeal (for the baking sheet)|
|5||ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced|
1. Position one oven rack near the top of the oven and a second near the bottom. Set the oven at 500 degrees or the hottest setting. Have on hand 1 rimmed and 1 rimless baking sheet.
2. On a lightly floured counter, divide the dough in half and shape each into a round. Flatten the rounds and let them rest, loosely covered with a kitchen towel, on the counter.
3. In the center of the rimmed baking sheet, mound the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss together and spread in an even layer. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Cool briefly.
4. Trim about 1 inch from the bottom of the asparagus spears. Holding a spear by the bud end, use a vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer all around the stalk; discard. Then shave the spears into long, thin strips. Turn the spear often until you can no longer scrape it. Cut the thinned out spear into three pieces.
5. In a bowl, toss the asparagus with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper.
6. Roll and stretch 1 ball of dough into a 12-inch circle. Sprinkle the rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Place the dough on it, arrange half the potatoes, half the cheese, and half the asparagus on it, Transfer to the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes, or until firm but not yet browned.
7. Using 2 large spatulas, lift and slide the pizza onto the top oven rack. Leave the baking sheet on the bottom to catch any crumbs. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Place on a cutting board, and cut with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Repeat with second piece of dough and remaining toppings.
Sally Pasley Vargas