This quick pizza combines asparagus and bacon for a simple but decadent weeknight dinner. If you want to make your own crust, you may want to wait for a weekend to try this since the process will take significantly longer.
Truly fresh asparagus is such a fleeting delight that you gotta make use of it while you can get it. And, as I've mentioned before, everything is better with bacon (unless you happen to be a vegan, vegetarian or Muslim, of course.)
While the oven was heating up to 425 degrees F., I cooked some bacon from the quarter pig we bought from cousin Norah's beautiful farm up in Vermont. Then I caramelized a whole mess of onions in the bacon fat.
I used leftover asparagus that was already cooked so all I had to do was slice them. While I ran out to the garden to snip some fresh basil and oregano (and crush a whole lot of red aphids that were all over the tomato plants) my husband grated a small mountain of fresh mozzarella.
Assembly was quick and easy – bacon and onion mixture then some mozzarella then the asparagus and herbs and a little bit of goat cheese finished with a very light dusting of sea salt and black pepper. Into the oven it went and out it came 10 minutes later, crisped on the edges and bubbling in the center. Slice, slice, slice, slice with our handy pizza cutter and we were in business.
The recipe below makes one pizza pie but I would recommend doubling it because the leftovers are incredible.
Bacon Asparagus Pizza with Caramelized Onions & Basil
Makes one pizza
1 prepared pizza crust - I've had decent results with pre-baked organic ones from Trader Joe's but I also like to use flatbread or lavash - they're wonderfully thin and crisp up beautifully. If you want to make your own crust, click here for a good dough recipe
1 small to medium-sized ball of fresh mozzarella, grated
3 strips of bacon, chopped
1 small to medium-sized onion, peeled and either sliced or chopped
6 spears of cooked asparagus – you can use grilled, roasted, steamed or sauteed though the steamed and sauteed ones run the least risk of burning in the oven since they're moister, sliced into whatever size and length you like
A few tablespoons of goat cheese
A handful of fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. While the oven is heating, cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a frying pan or cast iron skillet. After much of the fat has rendered out but before the bacon is really crispy, toss the onions into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and sweet - roughly 10 minutes.
2. Grate the mozzarella, slice the asparagus spears and chop up the fresh herbs. Once everything is prepped, it's time to assemble the pizza. Place the crust on a heavy baking sheet and begin with a layer of onions and bacon. Add half the mozzarella and then the asparagus slices. Add the rest of the mozzarella, the herbs and the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Put the pizza into the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges of the crust are browned and the cheese is bubbling. the exact timing will depend on what type of crust you're using. A crust that is pre-cooked will require much less time than one that is not and thicker crusts require more time than thinner ones so just check often if you're unsure.