This post may contain affiliate links.
I find the few minutes between bringing a hot, fresh pizza from the oven and the moment when the pizza is cool enough to eat absolutely excruciating. The sizzling toppings taunt me as I eagerly await that first taste of melty mozzarella and crunchy, golden crust. It takes every shred of willpower I have to keep me from diving in right away. It’s a challenge I face almost every week when making homemade pizza. Aside from that first glorious bite of a freshly baked pie, I just love creating toppings. Sometimes I enjoy meat pizzas (hot salami, Italian sausage, roasted chicken). Other weeks I go the seasonal veggie route (shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, Tuscan kale). Really, olive oil, salt and dough (that I purchase at a local pizzeria) are the only constants from week to week. I recently decided to experiment with the classic combination of asparagus and bacon. A coiled nest of long, green asparagus tendrils are piled high onto a bed of freshly grated mozzarella and Parmesan. Finished with a sprinkling of sliced scallion and crumbled bacon, this Shaved Asparagus and Bacon Pizza is well-balanced and packed with mouth-watering flavor. The freshness of the asparagus balances the smoky richness of the bacon, creating quite the harmonious bite. Continue reading for the recipe.
Before we get to the pizza, I wanted to share a quick asparagus tip (no pun intended). To my dismay, I opened up my refrigerator on Friday evening to find my asparagus bunch limp and wilted. To revive the asparagus, I simply cut 1/4 inch off the woody end of each stalk, then submerged the freshly cut ends in a jar partially filled with water. After an overnight in the fridge, the asparagus stalks came back to life! One thing to keep in mind: don’t try this trick with asparagus that are slimy, smelly or rotten. Asparagus displaying those characteristics are past their prime and should be discarded.
Now… back to the pizza 🙂
Shaved Asparagus and Bacon Pizza
- 1/2 pound asparagus (do not snap the woody ends)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ball pizza dough*
- Fresh mozzarella cheese, grated (this is to taste, I used about 9 oz.)
- Parmesan cheese (avoid the pre-grated stuff)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 scallion, trimmed and sliced on a bias
- Preheat an oven to 500°F.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into long, thin ribbons. The best way to do this is to lay the asparagus flat on a cutting board. Hold the woody end of the asparagus to stabilize. Start peeling the asparagus just above the woody end (about 1 inch up). Run the peeler from the bottom to the tip several times (until you can't do it any longer) with each stalk. Some ribbons will be very thin and others a bit thick. This is fine.
- Place ribbons in a medium bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil (1 - 2 teaspoons), tossing to coat. They should be glistening and coated, not swimming in oil. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and several turns of black pepper, tossing once again.
- Spray a pizza pan or baking sheet with unflavored, nonstick spray. Stretch pizza dough into a round large enough to fit your pizza pan. Very lightly drizzle the dough with olive oil, using your hands to evenly spread the oil around. Sprinkle dough with a small pinch of kosher salt.
- Top pizza with grated mozzarella cheese then an even dusting of Parmesan cheese. Pile on shaved asparagus. Transfer pizza to preheated oven and cook until the crust is golden brown (bottom and crust) and the cheese is nice and bubbly (10 - 13 minutes).
- Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and scallions then slice and serve.
Averie @ Averie Cooks says
I love asparagus and have never thought to put it on pizza. I put pineapple on pizza though 🙂
This is perfect for me. Great idea!
Brandon Matzek says
Thanks! I loooove asparagus on pizza. Sometimes I’ll do asparagus and prosciutto. Other times I’ll do just asparagus. I was never a big fan of pineapple on pizza, but my tastes have been changing. Perhaps I’ll give it a try the next time a slice is available 😉
Try canadian bacon and pineapple…..yummy!
Asparagus and bacon are a perfect match, and the simpleness (which is not a bad thing) of this pizza makes the flavors of these two ingredients stand out. I loved the combination!
Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) says
Gorgeous! Really lovely presentation too.
What an interesting idea to shave asparagus! I have never seen that before but I am loving that you put this on a pizza!
Brandon Matzek says
Shaving asparagus is a great technique to learn. You could also shave asparagus into a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan and lemon juice. A fresh spring salad!
Jennifer H. says
This pizza sounds (and looks) divine. Do you have a favorite technique for rolling out the dough? I never seem to be able to get it to be an even thickness, and it always springs back to a small circle while I’m trying to roll it out. What’s the trick that I’m missing? I’d love to make pizza more often, but have lost the will to fight the dough. Also, what type of pan do you use? And do you ever use a pizza stone? Thanks for your input.
Brandon Matzek says
Hi Jennifer, make sure you are working with a room temperature dough. I find that if the dough is chilled, it will shrink up after you stretch it out. I always buy my dough fresh the day I am going to make the pizza.
I stretch out my dough by hand – pull, rotate, pull rotate, pull, rotate, etc. until it is a good size to fit my pan. If a certain area seems thicker than others, I will hold it up by that area and let gravity stretch it out (shaking a little).
I usually use a circular pan with a perforated bottom or a rimmed baking sheet. I don’t use a pizza stone. I find that baking the pizza on the lowest rack at 500 gives me a nice golden crust.
Just keep in mind that pizza making should be fun! It’s ok if it’s not perfect.
Jennifer H. says
Thanks so much for the reply! Your tips just may embolden me enough to give it another shot.
Mara @ Elemental Custard says
I love making pizza but have not tried it with shaved asparagus before! Sounds like something I will have to try out next time.
Yummmm! Beautiful post and photos, I just love asparagus on pizza! I just posted an interesting pizza recipe too….. Clam Chard and Bacon, check it out!
Brandon Matzek says
Thanks!! I just checked out the pizza – looks tasty 🙂
Great job, the asparagus is the perfect choice for this time of year! The addition of the bacon makes it divine! Congrats on your FoodBuzz feature!
Thanks for the asparagus tip. I’ve done this for eons with not only asparags but also parsley and cilantro. (16 or 32 oz size canning jars are tall enough to not tip over.) If not enough room for standing things up, remove the asparagus from the plastic bag, wet a couple of paper towels and wring out, wrap around the bottoms of the asparagus bundle (heck, I leave the rubber band on), and replace the plastic bag only to the height of the paper towels.To prolong the life of many veg, I use the perforated grapefruit or citrus bags to let items breathe. We’ve been eating a couple of pounds of asparagus a week here in northern CA. My fav way is to wrap with a dab of prosciutto and put on the grill for just a few min: crispy prosciutto and crunchy asparagus, yum. If feeling fancy I chop some thyme and rosemary from the garden into a dab of olive oil and let the veg mainate. Wicked good hot off the grill or even cold.
Mei-i @gastronomic nomad says
What a gorgeous looking pie!! And I love asparagus and bacon combination…though I have never had it on a pizza. Can’t wait to try this the next time I pick up some pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. Thanks for the tip on how to revive wilted asparagus!!
This sounds like the perfect spring time pizza and I LOVE the trick to revive the asparagus. 🙂
I just made this for supper tonight with the addition of a little minced garlic. Outstanding!! Thank you!
hotel antalya says
I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Ann P says
Goodness gracious this looks delicious!! Perfect for spring, too 🙂 Where is your favorite place to get pizza dough? If your place is far enough North, I may have to give up the old Trader Joe’s pizza dough!
This sounds like such a tasty pizza! And great tip on reviving the limp asparagus!
NOM NOM NOM
I used 8 oz. pizza dough. Topped with 3 oz shaved asparagus, 4 slices bacon, 2oz. Parmesan, and 2 oz. fontina. Fantastic pizza! Thanks for the inspiration