It is spring, right?
Because looking out my window now you’d never guess it.
Tuesday was bright, sunny and amazing. Yesterday and today? Not amazing. Just cold and snowy. Eight inches expected by the end of the morning then a little break this afternoon and more tonight and tomorrow. Ahh, the joys of living in a place where it snows till June. And I know I say this pretty much every year come this time, but someone please send me the sun, or better yet a plane ticket to Florida (or anywhere sunny and warm). The worst part is that it’s not gonna stop. Those spring flowers that you people who live below nine thousand feet get? Yeah, we barely get those even in the summer, let alone spring. Which is a total bummer because I love flowers.
Since spring weather is nowhere to be found, I made pizza. Extra (extra) cheesy pizza.
It’s the only way to cope with snow in spring if you ask me. Ok, there are a few ways, but for today we’re just gonna focus on the pizza.
I had some help with this pizza concept from a friend of my moms. This time, not Mrs. Mooney, but Mrs. Kevesdy. Turns out my mom has friends who love to cook, which is interesting since she is really not much of a cook herself…
Also, is it weird that I text with my mom’s friends? Kind of thinking it is, but I spent a decent amount of time with them when we lived in Ohio. Plus, they make GOOD food and I always need ideas. Like always.
This white pizza is heavily inspired by one that Mrs. Kevesdy told me about. Only hers is probably a little less cheese loaded than mine and I added the asparagus because lately, I am putting it with, on, and in, pretty much everything. It is just so good right now.
It’s kind of like the saying, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, but instead we’re talking about asparagus, and right now its got it going on, so I am cookin it.
Ok, that was weird, but you know what I mean.
But back to the cheese, because pizza is all about the cheese (which is why I could not do a vegan diet). This little round piece of bread has four cheeses going on. Yup, four! You just can’t do a white + veggie loaded pizza without a lot of cheese. It wouldn’t be right.
I threw on some parmesan (classic), mozzarella (so melty), burrata (the best) and feta (addicting). FYI, it’s the perfect combo.
So what’s the spring part to this pizza?
Um, hello? I put a salad on a pizza and it’s so good.
Honestly, I have wanted to try fresh greens on a pizza for forever, so it just seemed like a good time.
All I did was toss some fresh arugula with some sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta cheese and a little drizzle of oil + balsamic. It’s the perfect topper to a cheesy pizza and if you are doubting me on that? Don’t.
No really, don’t
Also, there’s balsamic drizzle and if that + all these greens doesn’t scream spring than I do not know what does.
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed. You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Now rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Add vinegar and brown sugar, if using, to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour vinegar in a bowl or glass to pour, and set aside to cool and thicken.
- When the dough is ready, start assembling the pizzas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and once hot add the mushrooms and asparagus. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the veggies are just slightly cooked and softened. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the pizzas on a greased baking sheet and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. Drizzle at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the pizza dough. Add the chopped basil, garlic and parmesan, spread out evenly over the pizza. Add the mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle the veggies over the pizza. Break the burrata up over the top and then sprinkle with a little feta cheese.
- Bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey.
- Meanwhile add the arugula and sun-dried tomatoes to a bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon balsamic, a handful of feta cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper, toss well and set aside until ready to use.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and serve the arugula salad over top the pizza, or on the side. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pizza. Slice and EAT!
Take that Colorado mountain town snow.