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!
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!