(Family Features) One of the best parts of warmer weather for many families is the availability of fresh ingredients for meals at home. The unique tastes provide a variety of recipes that can be prepared with everyone in mind, including crisp flavors to help satisfy adults and kids alike.
For example, Michigan asparagus is hand-harvested at more than 120 family farms, meaning each spear is snapped at its optimal point to produce an all-edible product with no woody ends.
To help keep that fresh-picked flavor, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board recommends storing asparagus upright in about an inch of water after trimming the ends. Loosely cover the container with plastic and keep it refrigerated.
Whether you’re enjoying it blanched, roasted or on the grill, it’s a perfect complement for warmer weather. This Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza from author Gina Ferwerda is a creative take on the seasonal vegetable. Find more inspiration in Ferwerda’s cookbook, “Meals from the Mitten.”
For more information and recipes, visit michiganasparagus.org .
Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza
Recipe courtesy of Gina Ferwerda on behalf of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
- 2 cups cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup chopped leeks
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cubed rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched and seasoned with avocado oil and lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto
- fresh chives, for garnish
- fresh basil, for garnish
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- To make Asparagus Crust: In food processor, puree blanched asparagus until smooth. In large bowl, mix asparagus puree, egg, Parmesan, mozzarella and lemon pepper seasoning until thoroughly combined.
- Press asparagus mixture into circular shape on parchment paper-lined pizza stone or baking sheet. Place layer of paper towel over crust and gently press down to remove excess moisture. Repeat until paper towel is no longer absorbing moisture. Discard wet paper towels.
- Bake 12-13 minutes.
- To make White Sauce: In saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, leeks and garlic 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in milk, continue whisking and cook until thickened. Add Parmesan then remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour white sauce over partially baked asparagus crust and top with chicken and mozzarella. Add peas, asparagus and prosciutto. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Garnish with fresh chives or basil.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Asparagus on the grill)