Thursday, 6 May 2010

Pizza with Asparagus, Fiddleheads, Mushrooms & Ramps

I've been craving pizza lately, so I drafted Mr. Ferdzy and we made 6 batches of the dough recipe below. We froze most of the dough as I figure it's actually fairly quick to put together a pizza once you have the dough ready - you just have to remember to take it out at least a day ahead of time - and they will make good meals on days we do a lot of gardening.

This one was Spring on a slice, and we just loved it, and ate the whole thing between us in one sitting. Yeah, pigs. Oink. The ramps were just perfect, but it all went together beautifully. You could use all asparagus or all fiddleheads for the greens if you like; just double the one not being eliminated. Morels would be the trendy mushroom to use, but my lifetime record for foraging/finding them for sale is 1*/0, so I just used button mushrooms, and they were fine.

4 to 6 servings
Dough: 15 to 20 minutes prep, 2 hours to rise
To Finish: 30 to 40 minutes prep, 20 minutes to bake and rest
Allow 2 1/2 hours to complete

Pizza with Asparagus Fiddleheads Mushrooms and Ramps
Make the Dough:
1 cup warm filtered water
2 teaspoons fast acting yeast
1 1/3 cups hard white wheat or spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used Red Fife)
1/3 cup gluten flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive or sunflower seed oil
a little more whole wheat flour if needed

The water should be just warm, not hot. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let the yeast dissolve and foam for 5 or 10 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a mixing bowl. When the yeast is ready, remove about 1/3 of the flour mixture to clean counter or board. Mix the yeast, water and oil into the remaining flour. Turn the mixture out onto the floured board and knead for 4 to 6 minutes, until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. You may need to sprinkle a little more flour over the dough and counter as you knead if the dough is too sticky.

Put the dough into a clean, oiled bowl and cover it with a clean tea-towel. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour in a warm place. It can also be put in a clean plastic bag and kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours if desired.

Lightly oil a 16" perforated pizza pan. Press the dough out to a flat disc on a 16" perforated pie plate. It should pretty much cover the plate evenly. Start from the middle, and work your way out, keeping it even and trying to flatten it, rather than stretch it. Let it rise for about an hour again.

Finish the Pizza:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed oregano
1 cup light cream (I used 5%)

4 to 6 asparagus spears
1 cup fresh fiddleheads
1 small bunch (10 to 14) ramps
6 to 8 button or other mushrooms
250 to 375 grams (1/2 to 3/4 pound) mozzerella cheese

Put the butter, flour, salt and seasonings in a small pot and cook together until thick and pasty over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and stir in the cream a little at a time, to make a smooth lump-free sauce. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Set it aside and cool it slightly as you prepare the other toppings.

Wash and trim the asparagus, and cut each spear in half lengthwise. Wash the fiddleheads, removing any of the brown papery membrane which may cling to them. Trim off any darkened stem ends. Blanch them for 2 minutes, then rinse in cold water to stop them cooking any further, and drain well.

Wash and trim the ramps, and chop them finely. Clean and trim the mushrooms, and slice them. Grate the cheese.

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Spread the sauce evenly over the pizza, and arrange the mushroom pieces evenly over it. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the cheese evenly over the pizza, then arrange the asparagus pieces and fiddleheads over it. Sprinkle over the chopped ramps, and the remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is browned in spots. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Last year at this time I made Blue Cheese Salad Dressing.

*Not one pound. That's one. One mushroom. Yeah, not impressive.


Dallas said...

Mmmmmm....that looks REALLY yummy! I never thought of using fiddleheads on a pizza. Great idea!

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Dallas.

Joanne said...

I bought some fiddleheads the other day and was wondering how they would taste roasted. Good to know it CAN be done and it tastes delicious. That pizza looks seriously fantastic.

luckiest1 said...

Yum! I love a veggie pizza, and may have to try your sauce the next time I make up a batch of dough. I am still on the hunt for fiddleheads and ramps (no luck so far) but asparagus is a good idea. One ingredient I have discovered that I love on my pizza is arugula!

Ferdzy said...

Well roasted when surrounded by cheese, anyway, Joanne. Actually, I think they should roast okay.

Arugula eh, Luckiest1. I'm growing some arugula this year (I hope.) I'll have to try it. And I'm sorry to say the ramps are winding down for the season, at least around here. Fiddleheads should be a lot easier to find and in season for a few more weeks.

Unknown said...

That is one nice spring pizza!