Asparagus is here! We got a screaming good deal last week on a pound of thin, young spears... so we went for it. Spring is here, I don't care what the calendar says. They weren't the prettiest ever, but they made a fantastic pizza ingredient.
I'm not sure what got into me with the basketweave motif. Perhaps it was a pure design decision: it's a law of nature that long and thin stuff likes to be placed in a pattern. And prosciutto only helps. Or, perhaps I wanted to see how far I could make Toby's eyes roll back in his head (mission accomplished).
This pizza also includes one of my favorite cheeses: ricotta. It's milky, mild, Spring-like and a great foil to meaty asparagus and salty prosciutto.
Asparagus & Prosciutto Basketweave Pizza
Start with basic pizza recipe. Chop one clove garlic and steep it in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Roll out your dough and brush with garlic oil. Reserve garlic. Sprinkle oiled dough with a small handful each of grated mozzarella and gruyere cheeses. Snap woody bottoms off of 6-8 spears of thin asparagus and slice lengthwise (for quicker cooking). Thinly slice a couple of prosciutto pieces, in a corresponding width to the asparagus. "Weave" the asparagus and prosciutto together on the pizza, laying strips over and under neighboring pieces. Spoon a few dabs of whole-milk ricotta cheese in and around the spears. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and reserved garlic. Spray toppings with olive oil (we use a Misto) so they cook properly. Lightly salt the crust and cook according to basic recipe. Slice and enjoy.