I know it’s not quite asparagus time yet, but as a food writer I have lead time, and so generally I’m making back to school lunches before summer even arrives, and mincemeat pies on Canada Day.
Thus I have a glut of asparagus in the fridge from an asparagus story I was working on, and it is exciting to think that spring is technically here even if the green things haven’t quite caught up yet, and that these buds will be prodding their way out of the ground very soon. And when they do, we’ll be eating as many Alberta grown and snapped off by hand stalks as we can. Asparagus in its raw, natural state is surprisingly delicious – it tastes like freshly shelled peas – and it’s fabulous marinated and chilled, in a salad, dipped in hollandaise, sliced into ribbons and tossed onto a pizza.
I’ve seen shaved asparagus pizza (which triggers thoughts of a lady asparagus – dressed up Bugs Bunny-like – shaving her stalk) here and there, and yet my attempts at shaving my asparagus worked about as well as shaving my legs with an old razor in a stand-up shower. Sure, I got a few glamorous strips off, but wound up with a lot of annoying stubble. No matter; I tossed it all on the pizza with some goat cheese, purple onion and crumbled bacon in a very unladylike manner.
I never use a recipe for pizza – it’s a little like following one for a grilled cheese sandwich. Roll fresh dough out thin, any shape you like, put it on a cornmeal-dusted heavy baking sheet or some such, then spread it, top it, and bake it at 450F – the high temperature kindasorta simulates a pizza oven, which gets about twice as hot.