Well, here we are venturing deeper and deeper into Spring. Here in the Houston area it has been one wet and soggy Spring so far. In fact, we're still dealing with flooded reservoirs and bayous - with more rain expected this weekend. Sigh.
So let's turn instead back to the garden. As I wrote a few weeks ago, so many great veggies start showing up at this time of year - spinach, asparagus, green onions, spring peas, etc. That's why this recipe stood out to me. It's a perfect way to use some of the asparagus that is so nice and tender right now. The flavors of the creamy, tangy goat cheese, the sweetness brought out in the roasted asparagus, and the spicy arugula work particularly well together.
This recipe is a simple one to put together. The asparagus and red onions (tossed with olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt) get roasted at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes. We're shooting for crisp-tender (not fully cooked) because the vegetables will cook further when you put the pizza together. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Increase the oven's heat to 500ºF and place your pizza stone in the oven (if you are using one).
Now it's time to turn your attention to the crust. This recipe calls for refrigerated pizza dough which is certainly fine and keeps things simple. But you may want to up that crust game just a little too. I'm just remembering a pizza crust recipe that I shared the other day and think this would be a super time to try it out. The recipe was for Perfect Garlic Agave Pizza Crust from Cake-n-Knife. You might have to play with the recipe a little since the baking instructions for the garlic agave pizza crust are different than for this recipe. Anyway, I'd probably stick with the refrigerated pizza dough the first time and then maybe play with the garlic agave crust later.
If you are using the refrigerated dough, remove it about 15 minutes before you need it and let it warm up and rest a bit at room temperature. This lets the gluten relax a little which can make it a lot easier to work with. Hint: If the dough keeps pulling back while you're shaping it, give it a few minutes to rest and try again.
While the vegetables are roasting, go ahead and start working with the pizza dough. Have parchment paper lightly dusted with cornmeal ready to go. Assuming you are following the recipe and using the refrigerated pizza dough, begin by rolling out he dough on a floured surface and transfer it to the parchment paper. Lightly brush the dough with the olive oil. Top with the mozzarella, the goat cheese and the roasted veggies. Transfer it to the oven - placing the parchment paper on the baking stone or on a baking sheet. Bake it for 10-13 minutes until it turns golden brown.
Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle it with the zest from one lemon and the arugula. Give it about five minutes before you slice it.
The taste combinations in this recipe is really attractive - and one I highly recommend you try. I think you'll love it. And the whole thing takes maybe 45 minutes.
RECIPES OF THE WEEK.
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