Morel Pizza with Fontina, Asparagus & Smoked Ham

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I don’t know about you but i’m starving!  Being lost in a maze of HTML codes for 10 days left me  hungry for something good… something really good. Sorry if i don’t have a nice bubbly to offer you to celebrate the new blog even though i think it would pair really well with this recipe but … but let’s celebrate the Spring instead, shall we?  This pizza is a play on the delicious seasonal ingredients that start to appear on the local markets. You probably heard of the computer geek mantra Garbage in – Garbage out, meaning that computers will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data and produce nonsensical output.  The same should be said about food, start with poor quality ingredients and you’re likely to end up with [insert worst food memory here.. or the S word], but if you bring out the goodies… well well, that’s a different story.

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When i say goodies i’m talking about an All-Star line up here, caramelized vidalia onions, smoked ham, fresh morels, fresh asparagus, a healthy dose of imported Italian Fontina, a little parmegiano-reggiano and don’t forget the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the few grinds of black pepper. The result is perfectly harmonious, non-fussy but yet with a taste so sophisticated you will  start to wonder if morels are hallucinogenic. At $39 per pound, it’s still a bargain!

I made this pizza several times within a few days, the first time i forgot to recharge the battery of my camera. The second time my camera had batteries but the pizza was devoured by the staff before you can say click. The third time, i  made sure i was all by myself and my camera battery was recharged. I think this post made me gain a pound, all the sacrifices i do for you my dear readers…

My readers!?? .. Are you still there… still there… there.. ere.. ere…  I can hear i’m echo!!! AHHHH!! Don’t forget to update your RSS readers… I need you!!!

  • Morel Pizza with Fontina, Asparagus & Smoked Ham

    • Inspired by a recipe in Chef’s Interrupted by Melissa Clark
    • Makes 2 medium pizzas
  • morel-pizza7final
    • Basic Pizza Dough:
    • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • Pizza:
    • 8 asparagus spears, cut in slices
    • 4 cups fresh morels, cleaned
    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 shallot, chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 vidalia onions, thinly sliced
    • 2 slices smoked ham, cut in strips
    • 1 cup italian Fontina, grate
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • morel-pizza4final1
    • For the pizza dough:
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water. Whisk 2 cups of flour and the olive oil and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place until doubled. About 1 hour. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead.. yes KNEAD! for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. It’s a good work-out! Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling out or refrigerate.
  • For the pizza:
  • In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until they caramelize, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool before using.
  • Preheat the oven to 450′F and place a pizza stone inside.
  • Sautee the morels in the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the garlic and shallots. Sautee for 1 minute more and set aside to cool.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface, spread out the caramelized onions, the smoked ham, the parmesan, the morels, the fontina and the asparagus (blanch them first if they’re too thick) and slide the pizza on the pizza stone, bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and some black pepper. Eat!
  • morel-pizza10final1

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  • http://staceysnacksonline.com Stacey Snacks

    The new blog is beautiful and very professional.
    Love it!
    Where can I make those donations?

  • http://www.myspace.com/nataliesztern_blondee47 Natalie Sztern

    I have got to ask..who does your photography? Great post..and great pics

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    Both the website and the pizza look wonderful!

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com maggie (p&c)

    Wow, morels are such a treat, and these photos are gorgeous.

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com dawn

    now that’s a tasty pizza

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    beautiful! both the pizza and the new home! I like! :)

  • http://cheffyboy.blogspot.com Cheffyboy

    Hey Zen! Great looking new blog/ site. A toast to your success! Oh yah, no bubbly…When the Morels start popping out here I’ll send you some so you don’t have to pay so much. Just email me.

  • jfoureur

    Felicitations, Superbe !!!
    really wonderful !!!!!!!
    thank you so much,
    when does the cookbook come out?
    bisous

  • http://cravepublishing.com/steamovencooking Tenina

    Awesome…LOVE it, and the blog isn’t bad either! (And neither is the pizza!!)

  • http://foodblogga.blogspot.com Susan from Food Blogga

    Hey Zen Man!
    That pizza is fabulous, just like your new look.

  • http://www.tasteslikehome.org Cynthia

    I am not a pizza lover but oh gosh, this pizza that you have made here will make me change my mind.

  • http://www.RecipeGirl.com/blog RecipeGirl

    Congrats on your new space here- all looks great. Pizza looks yummy too… I have yet to experiment w/ morels!

  • http://www.cococooks.blogspot.com Courtney aka glamah

    Beautiful new digs my friends. And how decadent, Morels on a pizza!

  • http://www.mysweetandsaucy.com My Sweet & Saucy

    I LOVE the new blog and layout! Fantastic! This pizza doesn’t look have bad either! :)

  • http://baconandrhubarb.blogspot.com Rachel (S[d]OC)

    Congrats on the new blog. I’ve been pretty fed up with Blogger these days and have considered makign a switch myself.

    Beautiful recipe. Sorry you had such technical difficulties with the photo, but I can see why people would eat it before you could get a photo.

  • http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com cakebrain

    Nice new blog! love the look! Now I can add you to my sidebar ’cause it didn’t work before with your old one! Your pizza looks yummy!

  • http://www.thelaziestchefever.blogspot.com Leroy

    ommmmmmmmm. This blog ain’t a blog no more. This is a website! Great look!

  • http://www.angrybrit.com Angry Brit

    Firstly, awesome new site. Loving it. Secondly, that pizza looks divine! Ham and mushroom pizza with a serious edge.

  • http://www.savory.tv Savory Tv

    Gorgeous! Both the pizza and the new blog!

  • http://kathleenjbade.blogspot.com Kathleen

    hey YOU…….

    I checked out you’re pics.

    Not bad, not bad a’tall. Pert near perfect. And quite a following you have.

    Thnx, always nice to see a new face.

    lemme read u a bit more.

    Have a good one~

  • http://burpandslurp.wordpress.com Sophia

    Congrats on the new blog! I just moved to wordpress too!
    gosh, that’s some amazing pizza! way to use a seasonal ingredient with the asparagus!

  • http://www.norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

    Nicely done! I love the contrasting colors. I have to be honest though, I’ve never much cared for morels. Maybe I just haven’t had them cooked right, but I just don’t get why they’re so expensive? Maybe this pizza will change my mind:-)

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    not sure what i love more about this, the morels or the use of fontina on the pizza. again, the new blog (and white background) is really allowing your pics to pop.

  • http://www.bouchonfor2.com/ Mel @ bouchonfor2.com

    Firstly, your new site looks awesome! Secondly, I can actually see how crispy the bottom of the crust is. *drool*

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    This is the perfect springtime meal, M. Zen. Who needs Easter ham when you can have this?

    Love the new site!

  • http://www.rachelschell.com Rachel

    this sounds really amazing!!

  • http://www.tavolini.blogspot.com Tavolini

    Yes sir!! Pizza is always in my vocabulary.

  • http://www.gourmettraveller88.com Janet_Gourmettraveller88

    Haha, i am just making homemade pizza tonight. I heard Asaparagus and morels match very well together. I have got to try it. We could get fresh morels here too in Switzerland. Your pizza makes me drooling!

  • Cara in Basel

    This looks really good. I can’t wait to try it. As I readthe description, I gave a lusty moan that got the attention of my husband. I can’t get Vidalia onions in Switzerland. My cooking just isn’t the same without them.

  • http://www.elinluv.blogspot.com Elin

    I have been wanting to make pizza with a crispy base and I was wowed by yours! Thanks Zen for the recipe :)

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook eat FRET)

    i am devoted
    i updated
    i changed my blog roll

    I DESERVE THIS PIZZA

  • http://www.thepassionatecaterer.blogspot.com Paula Pereira

    Whatever she said ^

    Hehe anyway looks wonderful and I don’t blame the hungry crew for scarfing it down so quickly, how could anyone resist, mmm….

  • http://www.hapleng.com hapleng

    Thank you for good information

    hapleng

  • http://sahmanswers.com jon

    Sounds amazing! have you seen this recipe for Pancetta and Sage pizza? http://sahmanswers.com/news.php?readmore=1323

  • Joe

    Nice site. Not your same old same old.

  • Francine Godoy

    The pizza dough is super nice!
    Thanks a lot for the recipe!
    Just made the dough, rolled them all, put them in between baking paper on the freezer for later use to the kids!! :o )
    Handy sanck or fast dinner! :o )