Park Slope Kitchen is heading to Europe!

I’m packing my bags for an almost three week trip to France and Italy, where my husband I will be traveling from Paris down through Burgundy and Beaujolais, then cutting across to Italy. There, we’ll visit the vineyards of Asti, see an opera at the world famous Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, while finishing our European stint in none other than beautiful Venice.

While in Paris, we will be taking a French cooking class, specializing in the regional cuisine from Provence. I’ll hopefully be blogging the experience upon arrival back in New York.

So, in honor of our upcoming trip, I decided to try a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that combines two of my favorite foods: pizza and asparagus. I was skeptical of this marriage of foods, but I must say, I have literally been dreaming about this pizza since consuming it. Delicious.

I carved out enough time to make my own pizza dough, also from SK’s blog. The recipe itself is fairly simple, just make sure to allow enough time to for it to rise (just a littler over two hours.)

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

1 recipe Really Simple Pizza Dough or your favorite pizza dough
1/2 pound asparagus (I used a few stems less than this…)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
8 oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to  500 (or as hot as it goes.)If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and, using a vegetable peeler, create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and don’t worry if some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly burned. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.