Today I want to know—what brings you joy? This week, for me, it’s the return of our farmers market, warmer weather, and Asparagus Pizza.
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Joy is not exactly the first emotion that strikes on a Monday morning.
Today, however, I say we take 30 seconds to set the Monday-morning blues aside and focus on one thing that makes us do a happy dance.
For me, it’s the return of asparagus that’s making my soul sing this Monday morning.
Whether we’re keeping it simple with Roasted Asparagus or Grilled Asparagus, using it to top this Easy Asparagus Tart, or busting out the good stuff for Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, I try to take as much advantage of its preciously short season as I can.
Today, I’m sharing an elegant asparagus pizza with leeks and spicy ground turkey.
How to Make Asparagus Pizza
Lightly crisp asparagus, spicy seasoned turkey with leeks, and fragrant truffle oil are a gourmet combination of ingredients that will elevate your average pizza night to the next level.
(This Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza is another fancypants pizza to try next.)
- Asparagus. Packed with fiber, vitamin K, and folate, shaving asparagus into ribbons not only looks beautiful, it preserves the asparagus’ flavor and texture. (Next, I’m going to try shaving asparagus for this Scrambled Egg Toast with Roasted Asparagus.)
- Leeks. The seasonal springtime bestie of asparagus. When caramelized (or made into Potato Leek Soup), leeks acquire a subtle, inherently sweet flavor that pairs lovely with the asparagus. Check out my guide on how to cut and clean leeks.
- Ground Turkey. Gives the pizza extra heartiness, while still keeping it lean and healthy.
- Pecorino. A dusting of nutty pecorino cheese is both delectable and necessary.
- Truffle Oil. An elegant finish that completes this scrumptious spring pie. If you can’t find truffle oil (or don’t want to splurge on it) a quality olive oil will also do nicely.
- Pizza Dough. The base for this heavenly pizza was my favorite Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. It just never fails me. But you can use your favorite recipe or store-bought crust too.
- Shave the asparagus into long ribbons and toss with olive oil and salt. Set aside.
- Saute the leeks in olive oil with salt and pepper until softened then transfer to a plate. Cook the turkey, seasoned with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and fennel until browned.
- Shape dough into a rectangle, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the dough with olive oil, then top with the leeks, turkey, cheese, and asparagus.
- Bake, in a preheated oven, until bubbling and crisp. Drizzle with truffle oil and serve. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover pizza may be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge.
- To Reheat. Enjoy cold or warm in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Asparagus pizza is an ideal make-ahead meal. Here’s how I like to prepare this pizza a few days in advance:
- Prepare the dough and sauté the toppings the night before.
- The next night, pull the dough out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking, and you’re 20 minutes away from a fab, fresh spring dinner.
- I’ve taken to doubling the topping. It’s the same amount of effort, and that way we can enjoy Spicy Turkey, Leek, and Asparagus Pizza two separate nights during the week. It is that good.
Monday joy like asparagus!
Frequently Asked Questions
For a vegetarian option, sprinkle the red pepper flakes and fennel seeds over the caramelized leeks, then swap the ground turkey for 6 to 8 ounces of freshly grated mozzarella cheese, depending upon how ooey-gooey cheesy you’d like your final pizza to be.
I found my truffle oil at Trader Joe’s for $6. I decided to splurge on it because a small drizzle brings big-time truffle flavor. I also love it in eggs and over risotto too! If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, this truffle oil received good reviews online, though I have not tried it personally.
My favorite shortcut for this pizza is to make the spicy turkey and leek topping and pizza dough ahead. The topping can be made up to two days in advance and the dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen well-wrapped in plastic for up to two months.
- 1/2 recipe 1 crust Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (or your favorite pizza dough recipe—enough to yield one 11×14-inch pizza)
- 1/2 pound asparagus
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons divided, plus additional for brushing
- 2 large leeks (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1/2 pound ground turkey**
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 ounces freshly grated pecorino cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons truffle oil* or substitute olive oil
- Place rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Generously dust a large baking sheet with cornmeal or flour or line with parchment paper.
- Prepare the asparagus: Lay each asparagus spear on the counter and hold by the “tough” end. With a vegetable peeler, shave long ribbons of asparagus by sliding the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks. (The pieces may be different sizes and some may be too small to shave.) Discard tough stem ends. In a small bowl, toss the shavings with 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add leeks, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook leeks until softened, about 8 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add the turkey, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, and fennel. Sauté until the meat is fully cooked and no pink remains; about 4 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into an 11×14-inch rectangle, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush dough liberally with olive oil, then top with the leeks, turkey, and pecorino. Pile the asparagus on top. (It may seem like a lot of asparagus, but it will cook down as it bakes.)
- Carefully side the pizza onto the prepared peel/pan and bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and crisp. Drizzle with oil and serve.
- TO STORE: Leftover pizza may be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge.
- TO REHEAT: Enjoy cold or warm in the oven or microwave until heated through.
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