If I don’t post any new recipes here for a while, just assume it’s because I’m making and eating this flatbread for every meal.
The flatbread is a piece of pizza dough stretched into a rectangle and grilled until it gets a little charred here and there. It’s topped with a crisp salad of asparagus ribbons and mixed herbs, dollops of fresh ricotta, and a handful of crushed pistachios. It screams springs and it screams “yes, I’m a pizza, but I’m also a vehicle for salad so you can eat me whenever you feel like it.” Which will be quite often.
To make the asparagus flatbread, you’ll need a bunch of asparagus, a mix of herbs, fresh ricotta, a handful of pistachios, and a ball of pizza dough.
You’ll want to use fairly thick asparagus spears, otherwise making ribbons is nearly impossible. Hold a spear by the end and run a vegetable peeler down to the tip. You’ll end up with a few less than perfect ribbons and, if you’re like me, you’ll probably curse over how dull your peeler is a few times, but I promise it’ll work out in the end.
Shake up a light vinaigrette with lemon zest juice, honey, and olive oil. Dress the asparagus with the vinaigrette and toss with minced herbs. My tarragon and chives just popped up in my garden so I (excitedly!) used a few snips of those, plus a bit of fresh mint.
The no-knead dough I’m always singing the praises of works wonderfully for this. I made this flatbread on my 2-burner cast-iron grill pan, so I rolled it into a long rectangle. Hopefully I’ll be moving my grilling operation outdoors very soon and making round flatbreads on the old Weber.
Oil the pan or your grill grates and lay the dough on top. Cook for a couple of minutes until the bottom half is cooked through and you have some good grill marks. Flip and cook the other side.
Once the crust is finished, top it with the asparagus salad. Spoon ricotta over the asparagus and sprinkle with pistachios. You can run it under the broiler for a minute if you want the cheese to warm a bit but I like it just as it is, a crisp salad atop a warm, chewy piece of bread.
Slice it up and go to town. I can’t decide which I like more, the slightly charred, chewy crust or the herby asparagus ribbon salad. And together, with the fresh ricotta cheese and crushed pistachios, it’s a question I’m willing to spend many upcoming evenings grappling with.
- about 8 fairly thick Asparagus Spears
- 2 Tbsp. minced Herbs (I used a combination of chives, tarragon, and mint.)
- 1 grapefruit-sized ball Pizza Dough (I used ¼ of this recipe)
- about 1 c. Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- 3 Tbsp. chopped Pistachios
For the Vinaigrette:
- zest of ½ Lemon
- 2 tsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Honey
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Hold the asparagus stalks by the tough end (the part you'd usually snap off) and run a vegetable peeler along the top, down to the tip to create long, this ribbons. Place the asparagus ribbons in a small bowl with the mixed herbs.
- Light a grill or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Stretch or roll the pizza dough into long rectangle, large circle, or whatever shape makes sense for the grill you're using. Oil the grates of the grill or the grill pan and gently lay the pizza dough on the hot surface. Grill until the bottom half has cooked through and has brown grill marks, 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat.
- While the flatbread is grilling, make the lemon vinaigrette for the asparagus. Combine the lemon zest and juice, honey, and olive oil in a small lidded jar and shake until well combined. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss to dress.
- When the flatbread is done cooking, arrange the asparagus salad over the top. Dollop spoonfuls of fresh ricotta over the asparagus and finish by sprinkling on the pistachios. Cut into pieces and serve.