I've been living in Berlin for almost two and a half years now and if there's one thing I've learnt about German attitudes towards food, it's that asparagus season is by far the most exciting. It prompts national news headlines and restaurants to base their entire menu around this green beauty! I'm all for it, counting this vegetable as one of my all time favourites.
Enough for 1 9-inch pizza
- 100g pesto (see my recipe here, swapping the kale for an equal mix of spinach and basil)
- 2-3 white baby potatoes
- 3-4 asparagus
- Handful of almond flakes (lightly toasted)
- Small bunch of mint leaves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lemon
Heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Make the pesto and set aside, then place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water, add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Remove after 5 minutes and drain, rinsing under a little cold water. This step allows the potatoes to cook evenly and ensures you get the best potato slices possible!
Once cooled enough to touch, take a mandolin or sharp knife and slice the potatoes length ways, approx. 0.5cm thick. Lightly and evenly brush both sides with a little olive oil, season well and lay out on the baking tray. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until a few charring marks start to appear and the edges are slightly crispy.
While the potatoes are in the oven, place a griddle pan over a high heat and give the asparagus a quick wash after snapping off the ends. If they're quite thick I recommend slicing down the middle before grilling to give a more manageable bite, but if they are thin, grilling whole works just fine.
Massage a little olive oil over the asparagus (not too much), season with salt and pepper and lay in the hot pan going against the griddle ridges. Leave them to sizzle for a few minutes until those beautiful charred lines start to appear. Turn them over and repeat until both sides are adequately charred. You want there to still be a nice bite to them. SO delicious!
Now for the assembly part. Take the pizza base and first top with the pesto, then the potato slices and lastly, asparagus. Pop in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to heat up and once done, finish with some fresh mint leaves, toasted almond flakes and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. YUM!