Week 16: Root to Stem – Shaved Asparagus & Ricotta Pizza with Stem-Infused Whole Wheat Crust

This week is a challenge that speaks directly to the most wasteful aspects of my cooking. While I do my best to make stocks out of bones and stems to feed my soup-making habits, my creativity stops there. The asparagus used to top this week’s pizza will find their cheesy ricotta home built above a crust interlaced with nutrients leached from their usually-discarded stems.

IMG_4741.JPG

The process was as simple as using a stock created from the stems to substitute for the water used in the crust.

IMG_4744

From here, regular pizza-making resumed. The yeast frolicked in the warm asparagus water that made up their new home and went about business as usual.

IMG_4743

With extra nutrients fortifying the dough, I decided to make a whole wheat flour to create as healthy a pizza package as I could stand without stripping away the essentials.

IMG_4746

Shaving the asparagus was both equal parts time-consuming and oddly-satisfying. There are core portions that could not be shaved down due to mechanics, thus they were chopped up for additional texture.

IMG_4748

The cheese was a simple mixture of ricotta, lemon olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice.

IMG_4747

The lemon olive oil can really help make any citrus flavors pop. I used it as the base sauce for the rest of the flavors to play off of.

IMG_4750

At 550F, pizza doesn’t take much longer than 8-10 minutes in the oven.

IMG_4751

The crust was perfectly chewy with a light crisp to the bottom. To keep the texture more appealing, the shavings of asparagus were each swirled into a gusty little toppings, which were admittedly rather time-consuming to stage as well.

IMG_4752

The effect was worth the effort.

IMG_4755

With a dab of coarsely-ground black pepper on top and wine nearby, these puppies were ready for quick consumption.

IMG_4754

The wine was a Gruner Veltiner, chosen for the qualities it would mirror in the pizza, such as the waxy vegetal notes, peppery aromas and the overall clean style. Neither of the two survived the night.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s