I’m having a hard time keeping up with the basil in my backyard – it’s growing like crazy! I decided to use some to make asparagus pesto pizza for dinner last night. This pesto is versatile – it’s good spread on grilled chicken or as a dressing for a pasta salad, and it makes one fine pizza!
For the pesto:
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated locatelli or parmesan
1. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer into an ice bath.
2. Add asparagus, basil, garlic, kosher salt, walnuts, cheese and olive oil in the food processor and pulse until blended. Makes about one cup.
For the Crust:
- 1 packet of yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (plus more for the pan)
1. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, let stand until foamy about 5 to 10 minutes.
2. In a food processor using a metal blade, add flour and salt to the bowl and turn on machine. Slowly add yeast mixture and process for one minute. Add the oil and process for another minute.
3. Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15 inch circle. Transfer dough to an oiled pizza pan. Let it rest for 30 minutes to give the dough a chance to rise a little. A speedier technique is to preheat your oven to 200º, place the pan in the oven and turn off the heat, leave it in there for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 425º, place pizza dough on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spread on the pesto using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top and return to oven for another 15 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust is golden brown.