Spring is finally in Austria! My garden is in full bloom and we have started grill season. Lovely slow afternoons spent with friends and family.
Asparagus season is in full swing in Austria. Field fresh asparagus is all over the place. Last weekend we had friends over for lunch and I prepared this simple pizza style appetizer. It has been part of my appetizer menu for a couple of years now. Simply because it is no sweat thing to prepare and can be pre-prepared and then only baked or grilled.
You need only a couple of ingredients: asparagus (white or green that’s your choice) , Jamon Serrano or Parma ham, mascarpone, parmesan and Appenzell/Gruyère cheese. It is important to use cheese, that has a strong taste, blue cheese will not work because it kills the tender taste of the asparagus. It is up to you if you want to use ready-made pizza dough or even a puff pastry. Both are ok.
This is what you will need:
• 10-12 asparagus, this depends on little how thick your asparagus is. If they are really thick then half them before putting them on the pizza
• 200g mascarpone
• about 200g Jamon Serrano or Parma ham
• 250g grated parmesan cheese
• 200g Appenzell or Gruyère cheese grated
• 1 package of ready-made pizza/puff pastry dough
• a handful of wood garlic or rocket (about 150g)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line tray with baking paper. Place the dough on the tray and chill while you prepare the filling. (I made my pizza on our grill on top of the pizza stone. Works well too.)
2. Peel the asparagus and half them if they are very thick.
3. Take the asparagus and roll your ham around the stem of the asparagus.
4. Spread the mascarpone within the border of dough square, then top with asparagus pieces, alternating tips, and ends. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Spread your grated cheeses evenly on top of the asparagus then bake tarts for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden and asparagus is tender. Top with wood garlic or rocket and serve.
Note: Here’s the recipe for my pizza dough. I always make bigger amount it and freeze it in 200g lumps. It stays ok about two months in the freezer and is a great helper when you need food quickly on your table.
Tip: This pizza tastes really good cold too! You can also vary the cheeses as you wish.