Asparagus, Strawberries & Pancetta

March 27, 2014

 

 

Asparagus, goat cheese, fresh strawberries, crispy fried pancetta, crumbled hard-boiled eggs, tarragon sherry vinaigrette

This is one of those pizzas where we're just going to have to ask you to trust us. Yeah, strawberries and asparagus and hard-boiled eggs don't sound like three things that go together (we'll leave pancetta out of this—no one is doubting the pancetta), but somehow, magically, deliciously, it works. Promise.

Recipe

 

Ingredients:
1 ball of dough
olive oil
salt & pepper
flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone
1 log goat cheese
1-2 eggs, hard-boiled & crumbled (you can crumble them easily by pushing them through a coarse sieve)
1 bunch asparagus (about ½ lb), trimmed & lower half of stalk peeled
6-10 strawberries, sliced
4 ounces pancetta, diced


For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallot
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped

 

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Before you cook the asparagus, prepare a bowl of ice water to blanch them in. Then place the asparagus in a heavy skillet and cover with cold water.

 

Bring the water to a boil and add a couple teaspoons of salt. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the asparagus are just tender. Transfer them with tongs to the ice bath, then to a paper towel to dry.

 

While these are cooking, you can start the pancetta in another pan. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the meat. Cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let it dry on some paper towels so it becomes nice and crispy.

 

Next, you can make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until it becomes emulsified. Then whisk in the tarragon.

 

When your oven is hot, you can prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. Once it has baked for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the entire pizza.

 

Next, lay out the asparagus—we went with a horizontal alternating pattern, but go for whatever configuration you want. Next add the strawberries, then sprinkle on the eggs and pancetta. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and pop it in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown, then take it out and enjoy! It may sound and look a bit strange, but again, trust us—this one is delicious.

 

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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