In October, I spent a weekend in Boston and revisited some of my favorite spots from my college days. At dinner one night with my college roommates, I ordered an asparagus and fontina pizza. I think they may have given me a funny look, but it sounded good to me.
When the pizza arrived, I was amused to notice that the asparagus had been sliced super thin, so there were MAYBE a total of two whole asparagus spears on the entire pizza. Plus a LOT of cheese. The pizza was delicious, but with all that cheese, how could it not have been?
The asparagus preparation was new to me, so I did a little research online and found that shaved asparagus is a fairly common thing for pizza. Smitten Kitchen made a pizza that overflowed with it. I decided to try my own version with an amount of asparagus somewhere in the middle, and I added goat cheese, sliced mushrooms, and roasted sweet potatoes.
A couple of days later, I tried another version, this time with grapes and rosemary instead of the other vegetables. Use these recipes as suggestions, and play around with your own toppings. I’d love to hear what you come up with!
Goat Cheese Pizza with Shaved Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- one ball of your favorite pizza dough (I like to buy mine from the pizza place nearest my apartment, but you can also make your own)
- 6-8 stalks of asparagus
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Toss the sweet potato cubes with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and dashes of salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread the sweet potatoes in one layer on a baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, toss the sliced mushrooms with more olive oil and dashes of salt and pepper. Add them to the pan with the sweet potatoes for the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
- Prepare your asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear at the bottom, lay it flat on a cutting board and use a vegetable peeler to shave off pieces of various sizes by drawing the peeler from the base of the spear to the tip. Repeat with remaining spears, discarding the tough ends. Toss the shaved asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Increase the heat of your oven to 500F or 550F, depending on how high it goes. Sprinkle a baking sheet with a light dusting of cornmeal. Stretch out your pizza dough to the desired shape and place it on the baking sheet. Top the dough with the goat cheese followed by the vegetables, then sprinkle with parmesan. (You may have some vegetables leftover, depending on how full you would like your pizza to be.)
- Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes, and serve. Enjoy!