Just admit it. If you have kids, sometimes you just want to eat something a little more sophisticated for dinner. You can probably remember those “20-something” days when you could wear form-fitting, tailored clothes, rock a pair of heels, wear dangly jewelry, and carry a really small, trendy purse. You would meet your girlfriends at a cute little bistro, score the last seat at the cool pub table, and eat a slice of pizza with an amazing combination of artisan cheeses, seasonal vegetables and fancy-sounding meat toppings. Life is a little different for that “20-something” me now. Still good, just a bit more complicated.
One thing that hasn’t changed is my sincere need for “grown-up” pizza. Fridays are pizza night at our house. It’s the end of the week and I usually lack the emotional strength to come up with one more meal that has several food groups and way too many ingredients. So, pizza it is! This week, I am hosting a play date, so I am committed to providing my girlfriends with an opportunity to eat something other than plain cheese or pepperoni with the pepperoni peeled off because someone under the age of 6 suddenly changed his mind. We deserve it. How does Shaved Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza sound? Amazing and divine?
There are a few items you’re going to need to make the Shaved Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza. Get your shopping list together: asparagus, garlic, prosciutto, Naan bread, garlic and herb cream cheese spread, Parmesan cheese, and Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Some of you may have these pizza ingredients in your fridge. If you do, you’re the friend who has it completely together and of whom the rest of us are completely envious because of how cool and trendy your life appears to be. However, we would still remain BFFs because you would be that friend in our group.
Don’t worry that there are too many ingredients in this recipe or that this sounds complicated – it’s not. This is totally worth your time. Put this on your menu planner to make – you’ll thank me for it!
First, preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare the asparagus next, as it will take more time than anything else in this recipe. If you have a friend over, feel free to delegate this one. Or, if you are like me, I am all about having the kids help. Since we were having their friends over to play, the least they could do was help me get the pizza ready!
So, we washed 1 pound of asparagus and snapped off the tough ends of the spears. Bending them close to the ends results in the tough part snapping off, leaving you with the best part of the asparagus.
Oh, I mistakenly mentioned asparagus spears. “En garde!”
The asparagus is now ready to be shaved for the pizza. We found that it was easier to hold the asparagus by the tip and shave down.
Cut off the tips and set aside. Bring 2” water to boil in a saucepan. Add asparagus tips and cook over high heat for 30-45 seconds.
They look bright green when they are ready.
Drain the asparagus in a colander and rinse with cold water.
After rinsing, set them aside until you need to add them for the pizza.
Meanwhile, get the pizza sauce ready. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Then add 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic. The recipe calls for fresh garlic, but I opted for the pre-minced garlic from a giant jar that can be stored in my fridge.
Stir the garlic and butter until the garlic begins to brown. It smells fantastic. This is when I begin to feel proud of myself for making a great dinner for my friends! Next, grate 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese for the topping.
Back to the sauce! Continue stirring the butter and garlic mixture. Add 1/2 cup garlic and herb cheese spread. As the cheese spread is starting to cook, it is important to not overcook it to the point of separation – you are just warming it so that it spreads evenly into the cooked mixture in the pan.
Set out three pieces of Naan bread. Naan is a flatbread that’s a great alternative to pizza crust! Spread the cheese mixture onto the Naan.
It’s been a long week, and I am really starting to look forward to eating this grown-up, gourmet-style pizza! I’m also feeling pretty grateful that I have been able to spend the day in my sparkly fox slippers instead of 3” heels. (They are rather inconvenient for chasing down errant toddlers and balls thrown out of the yard).
Just a few more ingredients on this pizza, and we’re ready to go! Place the shaved asparagus on top of the cheese mixture.
Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, saving some to add as a final topping.
Finely chop 1/4 cup (or about 1.5 ounces) of prosciutto, which is like Italian ham. You can usually find it at the deli counter.
Add it on top of the cheese.
Add the asparagus tips next, and then shave a little more Parmesan cheese on top of them.
Although the directions say to place the pizza directly on the rack in the oven, I usually place a baking pan underneath to catch any cheese drips.
The cheese melts and the crust is a toasty light brown! Almost perfect.
At this point, I am starting to feel pretty good about making something like this at home. When I was going to a fancy bistro with the cool atmosphere, I was paying for that experience. I can make several pizzas for the price that I paid per slice when I was eating out with my friends!
The pizzas are ready to be sliced and served! The asparagus and prosciutto pizza looks so good with the ingredients layered on like this.
We’re ready for our friends to come over. Play date and pizza for the kids, and a gourmet girls’ night for my friends!
So, I guess life is a little different now. I would love to give you the sappy, heartfelt, I-wouldn’t-trade-it-for-anything speech (and I wouldn’t). However, I really do enjoy being able to eat gourmet-style pizza in the comfort of my own home, surrounded by great girlfriends and dining in comfy clothes (and shoes!)
For your next girls’ night, plan on making the Shaved Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza. You won’t be disappointed!
Alexandra is paid to write for the Recipe Buzz® Blog.