Thursday June 3rd the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market opened for the season!
If you don’t already get your produce from a farmers market I highly recommend it. It is so fresh and much better than what is being sold at the grocery store. Last week the asparagus at my favorite grocer was coming from mexico.
If you are new to farmers markets or even if you are not, my number one tip is to get to know your farmers! They can provide you with so much! Last year, only because I know my organic farmer, did I manage to get the sweetest strawberries at a discounted price; most stands had already sold out. Farmers can also provide you with great cooking tips for using their produce! Don’t be shy, ask questions!
After being inspired by this grown up pizza recipe I wandered on down to the market Thursday to pick up some fresh asparagus. I also managed to bring home some first of the season Michigan strawberries and a chocolate peppermint herb plant (which I’ll tell you more about another time!).
I have been in the habit of baking my own pizza crust for several years now. Sometimes I like a deep dish crust, sometimes I like a whole wheat crust, but this week I was craving a nice flaky thin crust made with all-purpose flour. The best part about this kind of baking, is that there is no rise time for the dough, cutting down your prep time tremendously!
Thin Crust Pizza
*Make 2 pizzas*
3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp mixed Italian herbs
pinch of salt
2 garlic bulbs, pressed or diced small
olive oil (spray will work)
Preheat your oven as hot as it will get about 30 minutes before baking. My oven reaches 550 degrees F. Put your baking stone or a cookie sheet turned upside down on the center rack.
Heat the water until it reaches 110-115 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, use your finger to judge how hot it is, if you can’t leave your finger in the water for long it is too hot and will kill the yeast. Add the yeast and swirl around, let sit 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved.
Mix the flour, herbs and salt in a large bowl using a whisk. Add the yeast water and combine until it starts to come together. Add garlic, then transfer on to a lightly floured surface and start to Knead. Knead until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth. If the dough is very sticky and wet, add flour 1 tsp at a time.
Divide the dough in two, and roll out on parchment paper.
Don’t worry about it being a perfect circle. Spread some olive oil over the top with your hands or use the kind that comes in a spray can.
Now, let the dough sit while you prepare the toppings of your choice. When ready put in preheated oven (leave on the parchment paper) and bake for about 8-9 minutes.
I used the recipe referred to above for a grown up asparagus mushroom pizza. I made the following substitutions: baby bella mushrooms, 2% milk instead of cream, and dried herbs instead of fresh. When using dried herbs in place of fresh in any recipe, use 1/3 of what the recipe calls for. Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh
Vitamins and Minerals! Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin K and Folate. Mushrooms are high in Riboflavin and are a good source of copper and niacin and pantothenic acid. Mushrooms also contain Vitamin D.
Protein! Mushrooms are great for those who don’t eat meat. About 1 cup raw provides 1 to 2 grams of protein. The cheese also provides protein.
Grains! No, this pizza does not contain whole grains, however that does not mean it can’t be part of a healthy diet. Just be sure that at least half of the grains you consume are whole to meet your fiber needs.
Calories! Replace your greasy take out pizza with this lighter version to save calories!