Green Pizza with California Avocados

Summer is nearly here, and with it, a bounty of delicious green things including California Avocados! Although you can purchase avocados and asparagus year-round, they are in season in the US during the spring and summer months.


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This pizza recipe starts with a simple base of mozzarella, Parmesan and chopped asparagus spears. The asparagus turns tender and golden in spots as it cooks in a super hot oven. You could stop there, and enjoy that combination as is, but I would recommend taking things to the next level with the addition of sliced California Avocado and a peppery arugula salad. More about this below!

Just as the pizza comes out of the oven, you add the final toppings: Avocado slices dressed in lemon juice, Baby arugula tossed in olive oil and lemon juice, Shaves of salty Parmesan cheese, Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

The grassy green avocado pairs beautifully with the asparagus while the bitter and peppery salad helps to balance out the other rich flavors. Think of it as a pizza and a salad all in one!


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Start with store-bought pizza dough (I like to get mine at a local pizzeria!) topped with grated mozzarella and 2-inch long segments of asparagus.


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After 9 to 10 minutes in a 500°F oven, the crust turns golden, the asparagus tender and the cheese wonderfully melty.


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Drape slices of ripe California Avocado evenly over the top of the pizza. These slices were drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with salt and pepper.


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Finish with a few handfuls of baby arugula tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and shaves of salty Parmesan.  Dinner is ready!


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Green Pizza with California Avocados Recipe 

Ingredients
1 ball pizza dough
Olive oil
Kosher salt
10 ounces grated mozzarella cheese (I used a mix of part-skim and whole milk)
3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, for grating and shaving
1 1/2 ripe California Avocados, peel and pit removed
Juice of 1/2 lemon plus 1 teaspoon, divided
2 cups (1 1/2 ounces) baby arugula
Flaky sea salt, for finishing

Instructions
Preheat an oven to 500°F, and set an oven rack in the lowest possible position. Lightly coat a pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Stretch pizza dough into a round large enough to fit the pizza pan. Very lightly drizzle the dough with olive oil, using your hands to evenly spread the oil around. Sprinkle dough with a small pinch of kosher salt. Top pizza evenly with grated mozzarella cheese. Cut asparagus into 2-inch segments, then toss with a little olive oil in a small bowl.  Scatter asparagus evenly over the pizza. Finish with an even dusting of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Transfer pizza to the oven on the lowest rack and cook until the crust is golden brown (bottom and crust) and the cheese is nice and bubbly (9 - 11 minutes).

While the pizza is cooking, slice the avocados and drizzle with juice of 1/2 lemon. Season with salt and black pepper. Add arugula to a small bowl, and toss with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, spread avocado slices around the surface.  Top with arugula salad. Finish with shaves of Parmesan cheese, several turns of black pepper and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

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