Inspired by a picture I saw on the Public Markets of Montreal’s Instagram, this pizza says “Welcome to Summer” like no other. As asparagus season comes to an end, you’re going to see larger stalks for sale which are perfect for making beautiful, green ribbons out of for a striking effect.
With my husband’s mysterious and idiosyncratic reactions to tomato sauce, I’m always searching for interesting, tasty and satisfying sauces to bring homemade pizzas together. Today, I’ve made a rustic pesto to elevate the flavours of the asparagus with olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and several herbs. I used chervil, also known as French parsley, which is very common in French food but if you can’t find that fresh or dried, you can substitute some basil or flat leafy parsley. For fun, I used some veggie shrimp from the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, but you can skip it or use some oyster mushrooms in place.
Pizza dough, your choice, rolled out to 9 x 13 inches
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon fresh chervil, finely chopped (1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
12 veggie shrimp or 1/4 lb chopped oyster mushrooms
~1/2 lb (1 bunch) asparagus, ends trimmed, shaved into ribbons
Lemon zest, fresh tarragon, for topping
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and drizzle a little olive oil on it. Place the pizza dough on the parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper. Spread the oil mixture over the dough. To make the asparagus ribbons, simply hold the stalk and run your vegetable peeler along the length of it. Arrange the shrimp or mushrooms on top of the oil. Top with asparagus ribbons. Bake for around 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Slice, top with fresh zest and tarragon and serve warm.