Meyer Lemon Inspirations 2010 ~ Recipe #2
With a delicate fresh flavor, protein packed ricotta cheese brightened with Meyer lemon makes a wonderful base for seasonal asparagus in this deliciously unusual, quick, easy-to-make pizza.
This is the second recipe in a series of lemony delights that I’ve been cooking in March & April inspired by one of our favorite foods, Meyer lemons.
1 pizza dough (1-1/3 to 1-1/2 lb/680 to 750 g), at room temperature
Comment: I used a Vicolo brand cornmeal pizza dough crust, which doesn’t require any extra prep.
1 lb (500 g) asparagus, trimmed
1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp (1 mL) finely grated lemon rind
Comment: I used ALL the zest & juice from a small Meyer Lemon (why save it?)
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Pinch each nutmeg and white pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornmeal
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Fontina or mozzarella cheese
Comment: I used the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Fontina cheeses.
~ Shape dough into ball by pulling side down and folding into bottom at center; cover with tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes. (OR use a pre-made pizza crust of your choice.)
~ Meanwhile, in pot of boiling salted water, blanch asparagus until tender-crisp, about 2-1/2 minutes; drain, chill in a sink of cold water and drain well. Chop into 2-inch/5 cm lengths.
~ In bowl, stir together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, oil, lemon rind and juice, salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Comment: I used coarse ground black pepper since I didn’t have white pepper. Do make the ‘pinch’ of nutmeg…generous.
~ On lightly floured surface, shape dough by pressing down with fingertips, then pulling at edges to stretch (or use rolling pin, letting dough relax between rollings as necessary), into 14-inch/35 cm round to fit pizza pan or into 16- x 12-inch/40 x 30 cm rectangle to fit baking sheet. Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over pan; lay dough in pan.
~ Spread ricotta mixture evenly over dough; top with asparagus and Fontina cheese.
Comment: The Viccolo crusts are small, so the 1 lb. of asparagus is more than generous. I saved the tips to feature in the garnish decor the second time I made this pizza, which was much more attractive than my first attempt.
~ Bake on lower rack of 425F/220C oven until bottom of crust is golden, 16 to 20 minutes in convection oven or 20 to 25 minutes in conventional oven.
My hubby, Bill, and our friend j. robert LOVED this pizza! So much so that they asked me to make it again the following week. Which gave me a chance to refine my decorating techniques to share with all of you.
Give it a try while asparagus is still in season. It’s a winner!
Serving(s): 8 slices
Nutritional Information per slice:
Protein: 16 g
Fat (total) 17 g
Sat. Fat 7 g
Carbohydrate 41 g
Fiber 3 g
Cholesterol 36 mg
Calcium 27 % RDI
Iron 21 % RDI
Vitamin A 12 % RDI
Vitamin C7 % RDI
Folate 61 % RDI
Recipe from The Homemakers Test Kitchen