Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Purple Pizza with Asparagus & Fontina

Asparagus, fontina, red onion slivers, and olives make this a purple pizza we adults won’t be embarrassed to gleefully bite into. With no kid toppings to speak of, you can grab that glass of vino, a nice fussy salad, your purple pizza, and head out to dine alfresco.

1 (12 to 14 inch) stretched beet pizza dough on a pan (See notes below for recipe link)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 recipe Garlic Cream Sauce (recipe below)
1 cup mozzarella
3/4 cup fontina (Italian preferably), or gruyere cheese
¾ cup grilled and chopped asparagus (plus olive oil for grilling)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup sliced olives, any variety
¼ cup Parmesan Reggiano
Coarse salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Garlic Cream Sauce
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8th teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/8th teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/4th cup Parmesan Reggiano

In a saucepan melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Turn the heat to medium low and add the rest of the ingredients, but add the cheese last so it doesn’t hit the hot pan and seize up. Stir constantly until thickened.

If the sauce looks a little thin don’t worry. It will thicken considerably as it cools.

Directions for Pizza
1. Make the Garlic Cream Sauce.

2. Heat up the grill to hot and close the lid.

3. Rub the asparagus in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, but not mushy. Remove from heat and chop into 1 ½” pieces.

4. Brush the pizza pan lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Stretch and roll the dough and place on the pan. Brush with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Spoon on as much Garlic Cream Sauce as desired.

5. Top pizza with the mozzarella, fontina or gruyere, asparagus, red onion slices, olives, parmesan, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

6. Set the pizza on the grill and close the lid. Turn grill to medium high and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Turn to medium for a thicker crust pizza and cook longer. Remove onto a cookie sheet with tongs.

7. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

1. Beet pizza dough recipe can be found at http://www.thecookingphotographer.com/2009/05/purple-pizza-dough-sneaks-in-vegetable.html.

2. See http://www.thecookingphotographer.com/2009/04/lets-talk-dough-pizza-dough.html for information on pizza dough and grilling techniques.

Recipe by Laura Flowers


Esi said...

I love the color contrast with the dough and the toppings.

Heather S-G said...

Sounds delicious..and looks so pretty!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, that looks colorful and delicious.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love the color of your pizza :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

Beet dough pizza :_). Who'd have ever thunk it. You amaze me, girl. Have a wonderful day.

Swedish Mike said...

That pizza still looks amazing and I must say that the garlic sauce makes me salivate. It is 08:10 in the morning and you've made me far too hungry! ;)

// Mike

Aubrey said...

this combines two of my favorite things: beets and pizza! and one of the season's freshest veggies... asparagus! how festive!

Kathleen said...

This is beautiful! Not a scary, unappetizing purple at all, but a vibrant, delectible-looking one! And the toppings sound great. Yum!

lisaiscooking said...

This sounds fantastic! I'm going to have to the beet pizza dough.

Cal Orey, Author-Intuitive said...

Hey, I tried to comment last night. This pizza made me hungry and think of the old song The Purple People Eaters...But I'd certainly give it a try. Gotta find the lyrics.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Thank-you for the comments! I've been out shooting and cooking today and it was nice to come back and read them.

Iron Chef said...


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Please drop me a comment once you have added my link so that I can do the same for you site. Please provide me with the title of the link as well as the url.


Marta said...

Laura this looks great! The children version looked lovely too, but my asparagus-adoration makes me favour this one. Thanks for sharing it :)

Alfie said...

I love the colours in this pizza - it's almost too pretty to eat!

Yesica N. Cook said...

Fantastic! Will definitely be making this for my guy soon as a surprise (or shock?). Thanks for posting!

Sara said...

Garlic cream sauce sounds delicious!

Hillary said...

I never realized that beets could be used to make pizza dough. I just read a post about beet pasta too.

Jamie said...

You know I move pizza and love making pizza, but you have such a fabulous selection of really truly adult pizzas! Next year when we are sitting in our empty nest, I'll start making your pizzas!

The Food Hunter said...

This looks amazing!

The Cooking Photographer said...


Katie VanBlaricum said...

A+!! I must say, I didn't have high expectations for the crust since it is "a novelty", but it turned out awesome! Thin, crackery, and tasty! The whole pizza was delightfully surprising!
I only have a small charcoal grill, so I baked the pizza inside. I put the naked crust onto a hot pizza stone and baked for 7 min (450 degree oven). Then, I took it out, flipped it over, and added the toppings. Then, back onto the hot stone and into the oven for another 10 min. or so, until done. I used fresh mozzarella cheese, and since my grocery store didn't have gruyere or fontina cheese, I substituted Blue Cheese.
I also made the dough in my bread maker and, since there are only two of us, I put the dough for the second pizza (after rising) into the freezer for another time.
Can't wait to make this again! Thanks so much!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Katie I am so glad you liked this!!!

Thanks for telling me!

Helen Handley said...

FYI, I made this in my bread maker on the dough setting. Worked perfectly, and avoided having to knead the dough, which can be messy with the purple in there!

Serving it for my daughter Violet's first birthday party...we're having a "violet" theme. Thanks for the inspiration and recipe! Love it!!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Helen great idea with the bread maker! I'm going to do that next time, as this does dye everything purple red.

I hope your daughter has a great Birthday!


Sue said...

Oh, here it is! Fantastic! My daughter and son-in-law are even planting beets:)

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