So if you’ve been following us a bit, you know we started a little tradition last Thanksgiving of making pizza themed around every holiday (evidence here and here). Nothing really that deep, just good pizza with ingredients or colors we feel are representative of the upcoming holiday.
Well for St. Patrick’s Day we went a little overboard at the grocery store and bought enough toppings for TWO pizzas, so this is the first, and we’ll be making the second one tonight. We have a lot of fun with these, and it’s a great motivator to try new and sometimes strange ingredients or combinations of things we might otherwise not have considered for our weekly pizza night.
For our first pizza we chose fresh sliced asparagus spears and sliced red potatoes with carmelized onions and pesto. Lots of green and fresh spring vegetables. Ironic because it literally snowed all day yesterday. Regardless, a super fresh, green and veggie-filled pizza on a flatbread crust. This is our first time making a flatbread crust, so we gave the much-recommended Mario Batali Flatbread a try.
For the flatbread crust (Recipe from Mario Batali):
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil + more for garlic spread and asparagus spears
3 cups all-purpose flour
For the toppings:
2 red potatoes
1 bunch or 8 ounces asparagus spears, trimmed, each spear cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces (you may have some leftover)
1 1/3 cups grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces), shredded
1 small red onion sliced in rings or diced into pieces
1/2 cup pesto
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
To Make Crust:
Combine the wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt, and the olive oil and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt. Slowly pour in the wine mixture into the flour while stirring (either by hand or mixer). If you are using a mixer, mix for 1-2 minutes before switching to the dough hook and mixing for an additional 3 minutes (adding more water or wine if too dry). If mixing by hand, mix in bowl to combine before turning out onto a floured surface and kneading for an additional 6-8 minutes. Do this until you have a smooth, firm dough.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, cut the risen dough into 2 equal pieces (or 1 big one!) and knead each portion into a round. Cover again and let rise for 15 minutes. The dough is now ready to be used.
To Prepare Toppings:
Asparagus Spears:Trim ends and cut each spear in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Red Potatoes: Place potatoes in small saucepan. Add enough water to cover and add an extra inch of water. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut into thin slices.
Red Onion: Cut onions into crescent-shaped slices. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat shimmers, stir in the onions until coated with oil. Add a pinch of salt, then stir periodically, allowing the onions to darken. Remove from heat and set aside.
To Assemble Pizza:
1. Preheat the oven to 360 to 365 degrees F.
2. Sprinkle a rimless baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal. Roll and stretch dough into a long strip (1 large, or 2 smaller) and transfer to sheet/stone. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil with pressed garlic and brush garlic oil over the dough.
3. Place in oven and pre-bake empty crust for 4 minutes.
4. Brush pesto over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the crust. Spread carmelized red onions and potato slices evenly over the pizza. Add a thin layer of cheese and drizzle more pesto over the cheese. Scatter asparagus over pizza, top with parmesan cheese and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
5. Bake pizza until lightly browned and asparagus is tender, around 10-12 minutes. Cool for 2-3 minutes before cutting pizza into pieces and serving.
Neil was really skeptical when I suggested we try asparagus and potatoes on pizza, but he loved it, especially with the addition of a little balsamic vinegar drizzled over. The crust was really good, though not as thin and flat as we had hoped. We’re going to try a different tactic tonight, we’ll let you know how it goes. It took us months to perfect our last crust, so I have a feeling this is the only the beginning in Kohler’s vs. Flatbread.
Every try a unique pizza topping that was a surprise hit?