Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza can be on your table before the delivery driver can get to your house – even with making the dough from scratch! I promise!
About a week ago, I tried making pizza dough from scratch for the very first time. Since that first time, I have made it four more times just to make sure that the success of the first, second, and third go at it wasn’t a fluke. I swear, Dear Reader, this dough is the easiest dough you’ll ever make. And, believe me when I tell you that this dough goes from a bunch of ingredients to ready to bake in about fifteen minutes flat.
STORE-BOUGHT VS HOMEMADE PIZZA CRUST
You can certainly buy store-made pizza dough if you prefer. You can even buy the Pillsbury pizza dough; I will not judge you. But, – and this is a big but – your Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza just will not taste as good. I have nothing against store-made or Pillsbury, and to prove it, you can see that I used Pillsbury products in my Leftover Turkey Casserole with Biscuits recipe. With homemade dough, though, it’s the freshness that takes pizza to a whole new level.
Alas, Dear Reader, this recipe is not only about the dough. It’s about those glorious toppings. Fresh asparagus and crumbled goat cheese is a perfect match. I could eat it all day, every day. But, I wanted more. So, I added some sun dried tomatoes to the Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza as well. Then I topped it with fresh basil and a drizzle of really good olive oil.
THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS FOR THE JOB
When choosing your asparagus, pick a bunch with thin spears. This pizza cooks in 10 minutes flat. The asparagus needs to be fully cooked. Not overcooked and limpy, but cooked thoroughly with a bit of crunch. Even with thinner spears though, this asparagus will still have a bit of bite left to it, so no worries.
I choose sun dried tomatoes very carefully. There are only two brands that I will use or eat. You can certainly use sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, but I used the dry variety in the resealable pouch from Trader Joe’s. Again, like I have mentioned in many of my recipes, if you are cooking with a few ingredients, get the best you can and stick to the brands you love and trust.
NOT A TRADITIONAL OR TYPICAL PIZZA
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza is not a gooey, stretchy cheese kind of pizza. It’s what I like to call a grown up pizza. This pizza is all about the flavours. It’s a combination of fresh dough, garlic-infused olive oil, fresh goat cheese, in-season asparagus, the best sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cracked black pepper. With this pizza, you get everything your taste buds crave – peppery, salty, crunchy, creamy, and garlicky. Yes, baby!
Dear Reader, when my daughter compliments my cooking or baking without being prompted, it’s a win for me! She said it was the best pizza dough she’s ever eaten. She asked me to not order pizza delivery again. That’s huge, right?
This pizza dough is a recipe worth keeping on it’s own. Again, I don’t want to downplay the pizza recipe itself, but like all good pizzas, it’s the dough/crust that can make it or break it. To be honest, I was thinking about creating a whole series of pizza recipes for Lord Byron’s Kitchen just so I could show off the versatility of this dough. I’ve already used the same dough in my Wrapped Asparagus Spears with Garlic Butter and Parmesan recipe.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did, Dear Reader. Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza will hopefully become your new favourite grown up Friday night pizza dinner! Happy eating!
If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:
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Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza
For the Dough:
- 3/4 cup warm tap water, 110 degrees
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Pizza:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced/grated
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 16 spears asparagus, washed, trimmed, and patted dry
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Dough:
- Fill a metal mixing bowl with hot tap water and set aside for a few minutes. This will temper the bowl and help to ensure the yeast will properly activate. While you’re waiting for the bowl to warm, preheat the oven to 500 degrees – not broil, but degrees.
- Pour the hot water out of the bowl and wipe the bowl dry. Add the warm tap water and the yeast. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the yeast into the water for no more than 5-10 seconds. Set aside and let the yeast bubble and foam for at least 3 minutes.
- Sift together 2 cups of the flour, salt, and sugar.
- Add the olive oil to the yeast and water mixture. Stir for a few seconds. Pour in the entire flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the liquid is absorbed.
- Sprinkle your clean counter top with a little flour and empty the dough out. Knead the dough together for 4-5 minutes until a dough ball is formed. Place the dough back into the metal mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel, and set the bowl onto the top of your preheating oven. (Don’t place the bowl on a burner, just on the surface of the oven. The heat will help the dough to proof.) Let the dough sit for five minutes.
For the Pizza:
- In the meantime, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Set aside.
- Lightly oil a baking pan or a pizza pan with a little olive oil and set aside. I used a 9 x 12 baking sheet.
- When the dough is ready, lightly flour a flat surface, and using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape the size of your pizza pan. Place the dough onto the baking sheet and push the dough into the corners and up to the sides.
- Liberally brush the pizza dough with half of the garlic and olive oil mixture. Save the rest for later.
- Next, crumble over the goat cheese. Sprinkle on the sun dried tomatoes. Layer on the asparagus, alternating the tips with the ends. Next, evenly distribute the salt and pepper.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush the crust with the garlic and olive oil mixture. Pour the rest evenly over the top of the pizza.
- Toss on the chopped basil and parsley, if using, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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