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5 from 4 votes

Asparagus Ramp Pizza

This recipe uses a pesto made from spring vegetables instead of the usual tomato sauce for a seasonal take on homemade pizza night.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Rising time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main
Keyword: pizza
Servings: 6
Author: Joy Manning

Ingredients

Pizza dough

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Pesto sauce

  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 8 ounces
  • 1 bunch ramps, about 3 ounces
  • 1 ounce Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

To Make the Pizzas

  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella
  • 6 ounces fromage blanc
  • Cornmeal, for dusting pizza peel

Instructions

  • In the work bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the bread flour and whole wheat flour and knead for 8 minutes. Add the salt, increase the speed to medium, and knead for another 2 minutes, until the dough forms a loose ball that climbs up the dough hook without sticking the bottom of the bowl. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  • While the dough rises, make the pesto. Trim the pretty tips of the asparagus spears, slice them in half lengthwise, and reserve for topping the pizza. Trim about 1 inch of the woody bottom and discard or save for making vegetable stock. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces and put in the food processor.
  • Wash the ramps well, and trim and discard the root end. Chop into 1-inch pieces and add them to the food processor.
  • Cut the Pecorino Romano into small cubes, and add that to the food processor, along with the pine nuts and salt. Pulse until finely ground. With the processor running, stream the oil in until a smooth paste forms. Refrigerate until you’re ready to make the pizza.
  • Preheat the oven (using a pizza stone, if you have one) to 500 degrees. Punch down the dough, and let it rise a second time while the oven heats. Divide the dough in half.
  • On a floured counter with plenty of space, roll out the pizza dough to a 13-inch circle. Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal and place the dough on it. (Or, if you don’t have a pizza stone, pizza peel set up, place the dough on a baking sheet)
  • Spread ½ cup of the pesto over the dough, and top with half the mozzarella. Crumble half the fromage blanc over the pizza. Sprinkle half the reserved asparagus tips over the top. Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone (or place the baking sheet in the oven, if you don’t have a stone) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browning in places. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Repeat with the remaining pizza dough, another ½ cup of pesto, and the remaining cheeses and asparagus tips.

Notes

You’ll have about ½ cup of asparagus pesto leftover. Save it to sauce pasta another night later in the week, or freeze for a future pizza for up to six months.
Substitute ricotta or chevre for the fromage blanc if you like.
If you can't get your hands on ramps, use a small bunch of spring onions instead.