April 27, 2010

Springtime Asparagus Pizza for Moving {Naptime Everyday}

What’s Going on Today: Boxes, packing, general mayhem. Picked up new shower curtain for upstairs bathroom in new place.
Naptime Goals: Finish packing clothes, confirm movers.
Tonight’s Menu: Springtime Asparagus Pizza from Food52. Wine. Lots of wine.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Kids are more resilient then we give them credit for.

Despite the growing pile of boxes my daughter seems remarkably accepting of our home being packed up bit by bit. She awoke after her nap today to find the contents of my closet in suitcases. This wouldn’t normally alarm a child except that mine loves to dive into my shoe rack and clatter around the house in high heels any chance she gets. (I am not-so-secretly proud that she is already this obsessed with shoes.) She peered into the suitcase and pointed at the shoes while I explained that they are making a trip to the new house on a big truck. She asked if she could go on the truck, too, not wanting to miss out on any potentially exciting event. Gotta love her adventurous spirit.

In a few short hours we will be residents of CT and, truth be told, though I am sad to close the NYC chapter of my life, I am excited to return to my country roots. I am, at heart, a country girl and love the slightly slower pace that comes with life outside of the city. The best thing about this move really is that I’ll be a mere 30 minutes from the heart of the Big Apple, so I am really not giving up much at all. I also look forward to country cooking. Of course I’ll be cooking the same food I do in New York, except my new farmer’s market will be thrice as big as anything in the city, plus I’ll have a deck for herb pots and tomato plants. I can finally grow my own food, just like my parents did for us growing up! Don’t worry, the minute all of this starts you’ll be the first to know.

In the mean time, with half the kitchen in boxes and no time to Naptime Chef today, I am making pizza. It just so happened that this recipe was up for grabs on Food52 for recipe testing and I jumped at the chance to try it out. I love pizza of almost any flavor and still have an unpacked jelly roll pan in which to bake it. This is what’s known as food serendipity.

I‘ve made all sorts of pizzas in the oven but this is my new favorite. It was a snap to make at dinnertime since I started with fresh pizza dough from Whole Foods. I even put my daughter in charge of sprinkling on the cheese which she loved. The baking time for the pizza is brief and, I’ll admit, I was nervous that the asparagus wouldn’t tenderize enough in the oven, but it did. After 10 minutes of roasting it was tender to the bite, but not overly wilted. It’s flavor was balanced beautifully by the salty mozzarella and tangy goat cheese and rounded out with a smattering of lemon and anchovies. We couldn’t enough of the symphony of flavors that created a near perfect springtime pizza and devoured the whole thing.

I know this pizza will work well with other spring and summer vegetables and I intend to try them in the future. In fact, given my increased storage capacity in the new place, I might be able to invest in a pizza stone or even attempt pizza on the new grill. The sky’s the limit! In the mean time, I am looking forward to returning to my regular routine of cooking during naptime next week and can’t wait to share it all with you.


Springtime Asparagus Pizza

adapted from Food52 and deensiebat


1 12oz. ball fresh pizza dough (can be store-bought fresh or frozen)
¾ lb. pencil thin asparagus, halved and tossed with olive oil and pinch of salt
1 c. shredded mozzarella, loosely packed
4 oz. goat cheese
¼ t. chili flakes
4 oil-packed anchovies, drained and finely chopped (optional)

zest of 1 lemon


1. Preheat oven to 500ºF for 1 hour. If using a pizza stone, pre-heat it in the oven as well. Or, if using a jelly roll pan, rub it with a thin sheen of olive oil and sprinkle it evenly with a tiny bit of cornstarch.
2. Place pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and press outward until it is about 14″ in diameter. If using a 10×15 jelly roll pan, press the dough until it fits the pan completely.
3. Distribute mozzarella over the top of the pizza, leaving 1″ on all sides for the crust. Then, add the asparagus in any desired pattern and clumps of goat cheese.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crust browns and the cheese melts. Then, remove the pizza from the oven and scatter the lemon zest, chili flakes and chopped anchovies evenly on top. Slice and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

If you are not in the mood for asparagus other vegetables like peppers, artichoke hearts or eggplants would work well with this pizza. If you don’t have goat cheese on hand, ricotta would be a nice substitute. Make this thin and serve it in small triangles for a nice appetizer!

Naptime Stopwatch

Preparing the pizza takes 10 minutes and baking it takes another 10. A great meal to make days before a big move!

Naptime Reviews

My daughter is not the biggest fan of asparagus, but I am working on it. I think this pizza might help her come around.