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Pizza Perfection

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When I heard that Jules Thin Crust was running their pizza contest again this year, I set an Outlook reminder so that I wouldn’t miss it this time around.

The challenge: Come up with their next pizza recipe.
The prize: $1000 in Jules’ pizza!!

Jules’ pizza is served in rectangular slices, letting you get maximum toppings over a cracker-thin crust.  It uses local and organic ingredients that are so flavorful there’s no need for the crowd of toppings you see at traditional pizza places.

Jules already has an abundance of delicious seasonal pizzas, ranging from salad toppings and fresh cheese, to local sausage and bacon.  I therefore wanted to design a pizza that applauded the elevation of flavor in their existing pies, but put in my own personal spin.  Top it with Hubby’s favorite, applewood smoked bacon, and it’s a terrific flavor profile.  If I don’t win, at least we’ve got a kicker of a recipe to use later on!

Asparagus Bacon Pizza
Be generous with the lemon zest; it adds a unique contrast to the cheese and bacon.

1 disc pizza dough (we use Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Neo-Neopolitan Pizza)
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed (best in spring)
3 slices applewood smoked bacon
6 oz. mozzarella, shredded (if using fresh pat dry on paper towels)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T balsamic glaze (we used Colavita) or 3 T balsamic vinegar, boiled until reduced to 1 T
Shaved Parmesan

Toss asparagus in 2 teaspoons olive oil and broil for 2 mins (should be very al dente).  Cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Preheat pizza stone to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes.

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels and shred into small pieces.  Set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin but not translucent (about a 10″ disc).  Place on a pizza peel or upside-down cookie sheet lightly covered with cornmeal.  Brush olive oil sparingly over the crust if using fresh mozzarella, otherwise just top with mozzarella.

Slide pizza crust onto stone and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Add lemon zest, asparagus, and bacon and bake until crust is golden brown, 5-7 minutes.  Remove the pizza, drizzle with balsamic reduction and top with bacon and large shavings of Parmesan.

Local Sources
Fresh mozzarella – Valley Shepherd Creamery
Smoked bacon – None Such Farms



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