6 Pizza Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of Spring
Few foods satisfy Americans’ cravings the way pizza does. According to a survey reported by the New York Daily News, one-third of adults eat a slice or two of pie at least once a week. The article also said some fanatics go for the Italian favorite up to 15 times a month. While pepperoni and sausage make tasty toppings, pizza is a great canvas for just about any ingredient you can imagine. Since farmers’ markets are now teeming with an abundance of springtime goodies, tossing some of that produce onto a crispy crust makes eating your veggies irresistibly delicious. We’ve found 6 stellar recipes that will please asparagus fans as well as those who go crazy for artichokes. With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be digging into delicious, homemade pizza faster than it takes to order delivery.
1. Pizza with Asparagus and Bacon
It’s easy to get carried away with purchasing asparagus during the first few months of the season. The flavorful spears are great simply steamed, and go beautifully in salads, but you might find yourself getting bored with the same recipes from last month. Give the veggie a whole new way to shine by making A Hint of Honey’s bacon-flecked pie, adapted from a Food Network recipe.
While making the dough is definitely an option, using something purchased will make the process go a lot faster. Don’t be scared off by the homemade sauce recipe, though. All you have to do is sauté some garlic, then add red pepper flakes, and crushed tomatoes. Once the sauce simmers for a bit, it’s ready to go on the dough, followed by the rest of the toppings. Send it on a quick trip to the oven and you’ll have an all-in-one meal in about 10 minutes.
- 1 recipe pizza dough, or store-bought dough
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, but into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 3 tablespoons torn fresh basil
- 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender with a bit of bite. Remove asparagus to a bowl of ice water, drain, and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then add sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
Roll out crust into a 14-inch circle. Spread tomato sauce over crust. Top with half of mozzarella, then add asparagus, bacon, and red onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve.
2. Spring Onion Pizza
As the name implies, spring onions are only available for a couple of months every year. While the flavor is similar to the mature alliums, it’s both milder and sweeter. That means they’re perfect for a quick-cooking pizza where regular onions would be too harsh. Showcase the delicate flavor with this recipe from Steven Satterfield’s Root to Leaf, featured on Food Republic. With plenty of herbs and gooey cheese, this could become your new go-to.
- 1 ball whole-wheat pizza dough
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk green garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 pieces
- ½ teaspoon roughly chopped fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon roughly chopped fresh marjoram
- ½ teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Chopped fresh parsley
Directions: Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, use a stone if you have one. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough to fit stone, or a baking sheet. Transfer dough to a floured cooking sheet.
Scatter onion, leek, garlic, and scallions across surface, leaving a 1-inch border around edge. Add mozzarella pieces. Sprinkle oregano, marjoram, and thyme over top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Transfer pizza to the stone in oven, or bake on cookie sheet. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until dough is crisp and toppings are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Slice and garnish with parsley. Serve.
3. Pesto Pea Pizza
When you’ve tired of cooking delicate pea soups with mint, use those legumes to make a truly memorable pizza. This simple pie from What’s Gaby Cooking pairs the sweet produce with two kinds of cheese and a herbaceous sauce. Though the basil vinaigrette isn’t difficult to make, it does take a few extra steps. You can streamline the process by using a purchased jar of basil pesto. We think you’ll agree that the flavor is stellar whichever route you take.
- 1 pound fresh pizza dough
- Olive oil
- ⅓ cup basil vinaigrette, or purchased pesto
- 1 cup sliced fresh mozzarella
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup fresh peas, blanched, or thawed, frozen peas
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Directions: Prepare grill to high heat. Brush grates with oil.
Shape dough into large pizza shape on a lightly floured surface. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then re-form. Place on a lightly floured, rimless baking sheet, or pizza peel.
Transfer dough to grill. Cook for 2 minutes, with lid closed. Using tongs, flip dough over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Dough should be golden brown on both sides. Remove from grill and black back onto baking sheet or peel.
Spread basil vinaigrette, or pesto, over pizza, then top with mozzarella, dollops of ricotta, and peas. Slide pizza back onto grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes with lid closed, until cheese melts.
Remove pizza from grill, and season with salt and pepper. Slice and serve at once.
4. Fresh Artichoke, Olive, and Burrata Pizza
You’ve probably seen burrata at the grocery store and found yourself curious about how to use it. The creamy filling tastes divine when paired with crusty bread and any number of fruits and veggies, but it might be at its best when melted on top of this delectable pizza from Bon Appétit. Topped with lemony artichokes and salty olives, the flavor combination is pretty hard to beat.
If cleaning artichokes isn’t your thing, frozen ones will work just as well. Just be sure to thaw them first. For the true do-it-yourselfer, though, trimming the springtime veggies can be a real treat. If you really want to go for it, you can even make your own burrata. For the rest of us, the purchased stuff is still pretty tasty and a whole lot less messy.
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 large artichokes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
- Kosher slat and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound prepared pizza dough, divided into 4 pieces
- 2 (8-ounce) balls burrata, torn into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into a bowl of water. Using a serrated knife, remove outer leaves from artichokes to expose heart. Trim 3 inches from the top of each artichoke. Trim stems and remove tough outer layer with a peeler. Halve artichokes lengthwise and scoop out the bristly choke with a spoon. Dip in lemon water, then thinly slice and place in a small bowl. Drizzle sliced artichokes with 1 tablespoon oil, toss to coats, and season with salt and pepper.
Stretch each piece of dough into a 9-inch round and transfer to 2 lightly oiled, rimmed baking sheets.
Brush with remaining 4 tablespoons of oil; season with salt and pepper. Top each round with burrata, olives, artichokes, and rosemary. Bake pizzas, rotating sheet halfway through, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden grown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Top pizzas with lemon zest and more pepper, to taste. Slice and serve.
5. Chicken, Arugula, and Radish Pizza
Most of the time, chicken appears on pizza slathered with barbecue sauce. Shake things up with a lighter, fresher take with this arugula and radish pizza from Cooking Light. Just top the dough with shredded chicken, cheese, and some seasonings. While the pizza bakes, toss some arugula and radishes with a simple dressing, then pile it onto the pie once it comes out of the oven. Salad on top of pizza might sound a little bit bizarre, but one bite is sure to change your mind.
- 1 (12-inch) think prepared pizza crust
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1½ cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
- ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
- 1½ ounces crumbled goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups baby arugula
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
Directions: Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush pizza crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then top with chicken and ricotta. Sprinkle with goat cheese, black pepper, and red pepper. Transfer pizza to preheated baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
Whisk vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and mustard in a medium bowl. Add arugula and radishes; toss to coat. Top pizza with arugula mixture. Cut into wedges and serve.
6. Strawberry, Basil, and Balsamic Pizza
Americans eat twice as many strawberries now as they did 20 years ago, and many of them likely end up in desserts like pies and shortcakes. Don’t stop there, though. These juicy red fruits work equally well in savory dishes. For something completely new, try this sweet and salty pizza from Cookie and Kate. Goat cheese adds a bit of tang and the fresh basil pairs perfectly with the sweet berries. You might never make pizza with tomatoes again.
- 16 ounces prepared whole wheat pizza dough
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 5 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 1½ cups ¼-inch-thick sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough into a 12- to 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Top dough with mozzarella, goat cheese, and strawberries. Bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet, or pizza stone, until cheese is bubbling and crust is crisp, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Once pizza is done, top with a sprinkle of basil and some freshly ground black pepper. Slice and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve.