Grilled Spring Pizza with Asparagus, Leeks and Pancetta
This pizza combines two of spring’s finest green vegetables: leeks and asparagus. Once caramelized, the leeks turn sweet and soft, while the raw asparagus gets shaved and arranged on the pizza for a bright, textural element. Add some cheese and pancetta for a savory boost and the result is a balanced dish that highlights spring produce while indulging your pizza craving. Plus, this recipe shows you how to grill indoors with a grill pan—an easy technique to get a nice char on your crust without fussing with an outdoor grill.
Fill a vase or large glass with cold water and soak the leeks for about 3 minutes to remove any grit.
Meanwhile, run a vegetable peeler down the asparagus stalks to create ribbons and place in a medium bowl. Add the zest of half the lemon, the juice of the whole lemon and 1 tablespoon oil. Toss together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Rinse the leeks well after soaking and thinly slice into half-moons.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl or plate and let cool to room temperature. Wipe out the skillet.
Line a plate with paper towels. Put 1 tablespoon oil and the pancetta in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate to drain and cool.
Brush a large grill pan with 1 tablespoon oil and preheat over medium-high heat.
On a lightly floured surface, stretch the pizza dough into a long oval or rectangle to fit the grill pan. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon oil and place oiled-side down onto the grill pan. Grill until charred and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon oil.
Lower the heat to medium. Flip the dough with a spatula. Top with the fontina, leek mixture and pancetta. Cover with an inverted baking sheet and cook until the bottom of the dough is charred and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes.
Top the pizza with the lemony asparagus. Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes and a drizzle of honey if desired. Slice and serve.