Asparagus, potato & spelt pizza with courgette & rocket salad recipe image

Print Asparagus, potato & spelt pizza with courgette & rocket salad

A very hot oven and a restrained hand with the toppings are the key to a good pizza. The temptation is to load it with all kinds of goodies, but the deeper the toppings, the soggier the result and the longer the cooking time. This doesn’t mean we’re scrimping on the asparagus; the rest of the bunch will find a home in the salad. The potatoes are par-boiled so they cook in the same time as the rest of the pizza. If you have a mandolin, you could cut them paper thin and add them raw. All the toppings get a quick turn in a dash of oil so that they roast on the pizza rather than scorch in the intense heat.

Ingredients

  • 200g new potatoes
  • 250g asparagus
  • 50g rocket
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 ball mozzarella
  • 1 courgette
  • 10g rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 200g passata
  • 2 pizza bases
  • 25g Italian style cheese
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, optional
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Start by preheating your oven to the highest possible setting. Make sure your oven shelf is near the top of the oven. Give the potatoes a wash and light scrub. Place them in a pan and cover with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt.
  2. Bring gently to the boil and boil for 6 minutes before draining and leaving to cool. While the potatoes boil, remove and discard the tough bottoms from the asparagus stalks. You can do this by holding each end of the stalk in your finger tips and gently bending.
  3. They snap at the point the stalks become tough. Take half the asparagus and slice it thinly at an angle. Slice the other half into 3cm pieces. Pop the 3cm pieces in with the potatoes to cook briefly for 1-2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Keep to one side.
  4. Wash and dry the rocket. Peel the red onion and finely slice half of it (save the rest for another day). Drain the whey from the mozzarella and tear the ball into bite-size pieces. Wash the courgette and, using a vegetable peeler, peel into thin ribbons, turning as you go, until nothing remains but the soft core. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, cut them into very thin slices.
  5. Strip the leaves from 1 large stalk of rosemary and finely chop it. Place the sliced potatoes in a mixing bowl. Season them with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well. In a smaller bowl, mix the thinly sliced asparagus and onion with a dash of oil and a pinch of salt.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of passata to each pizza base. With the back of a spoon, thinly spread it across the base. Scatter some sliced potatoes across the bases. Not too densely; you want some tomato to show through. Next, scatter over the asparagus and red onions and dot the mozzarella evenly across the top.
  7. Finish with half the Italian cheese, a few turns of black pepper and a cautious pinch of chilli flakes, if you fancy a little heat. Slide the pizzas directly onto the oven shelf (this helps the heat to cook and crisp the base more easily).
  8. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the cheese on top has melted and the edges are starting to colour. Timings may vary depending on the oomph of your oven. Meanwhile, mix the courgette ribbons and the asparagus pieces with the rocket.
  9. Dress with a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to your taste. Serve alongside your pizza, fresh from the oven, scattered with the remaining Italian cheese.
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