When the first bunches of local asparagus and rhubarb appeared side-by-side at my local farmers' market, forming an ombré wave from dark green to fuchsia, I wondered if they taste as great as they look together. Rhubarb is, after all, a vegetable, so it stands to reason that its juicy-tart flavor would play nice with other vegetables of the season. (What grows together goes together, anyone?) Plus, savory rhubarb pizza has been on my to-do list for at least two years now. It's about time I made it happen.
A quick search for "asparagus + rhubarb recipes" led me to Stephanie Izard's Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Rhubarb Salad, which inspired this first *very* successful rhubarb pizza. (By the way, this isn't the first time I've turned to a stellar salad for pizza inspiration.)
In her recipe, Izard tosses grilled asparagus and quick-pickled rhubarb with baby arugula, sliced almonds, goat cheese, and a simple vinaigrette. In my pizzafied version, I scatter sliced raw asparagus, baby spinach, and goat cheese on a round of dough and drizzle it with heavy cream. Then I bake it until the crust is golden and finish it off with Izard's pickled rhubarb and some chopped pistachios. The rhubarb adds way more than a pretty garnish (though it certainly is pretty). It also adds crunch and a briny-sweet flavor that brightens up the asparagus and spinach.
If you like your salads with a side of toasted bread, then this one's for you!
Asparagus, Spinach, and Pickled Rhubarb Pizza
For the pickled rhubarb
- ¾ cup thinly sliced rhubarb
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
For the pizza
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- crushed urfa pepper or red pepper flakes
- ½ bunch asparagus ends snapped off, spears thinly sliced on the bias
- handful baby spinach or baby arugula
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the oven before you start preheating).
- To make the pickled rhubarb: Place the rhubarb in a medium heatproof bowl or jar. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the rhubarb in the bowl and let it sit until the liquid has cooled to room temperature. Drain and set the pickled rhubarb aside. (Or strain the liquid and save it to make vinaigrette, as Stephanie Izard does in her recipe.)
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled baking sheet or a floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Brush the dough lightly with olive oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with a couple pinches each of salt and urfa or red pepper flakes, then scatter on the asparagus, spinach, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with the cream.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Wait about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.