Spring Pizza with the Toppings of the Moment
Asparagus and ramps have a natural affinity. “There’s an expression that chefs use, What grows together goes together,” explains Jim Gop, the in-house chef at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, who has been making this spring pizza for the past few weeks. Although he grew up in the Berkshires, Gop did not learn about foraging for ramps until he went to work a few years ago for Chris Masiero at Guido’s. “Most people drive right by them, but ramps seem to be everywhere.” Gop’s job at Guido’s is to inspire shoppers to cook with fresh, local ingredients, and he does twice a week cooking demonstrations, alternating every other week between the stores in Great Barrington and Pittsfield. “I want to help people discover their own culinary passions.”
Asparagus & Ramp Pizza
2 lb. asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
10 ramps or medium scallions
1 thawed pizza dough ball or Berkshire Mountain Bakery crust (available at Guido’s)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 slices prosciutto torn into pieces (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mozzarella cheese
extra virgin olive oil for brushing
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Set a pizza stone or baking sheet on the bottom or on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
2. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Blanch ramps in the same boiling water until they are bright green, but still al dente, about 1 minute. Drain, pat dry and cut into 1 inch lengths.
3. Punch down the pizza dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a 12 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle on the grated mozzarella in an even layer. Scatter the blanched asparagus and ramps over the mozzarella and season lightly with salt and pepper. Top the pizza with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
4. Slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone or baking pan. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the pizza crust is browned and crisp on the bottom Transfer the pizza to a work surface, cut into wedges and serve immediately.