We love wood fired pizza. We also love the fact that making it is actually part of our job description. Being in the business of designing and building wood fired pizza ovens, it’s only natural we eat a fair amount. Practice makes perfect, right?
Earlier this year, we had a few visitors interested in a Le Panyol mobile oven. They wanted to work with the oven hands-on before making their final decision. So we decided to throw together a little pizza party. Amy planned to bring her homemade ricotta, and Cheryl would prepare the dough and toppings.
A few weeks prior, Cheryl had discovered a pizza competition in her favorite magazine, Bon Appetit. The article featured previous winners from all over the world, along with their delicious pizza recipes. Maine, however, was nowhere to be seen. We may not be considered the pizza capital of the world, but with our abundant farmlands and fresh local food, and with the ever-growing interest in rustic eateries and wood fired baking, there are plenty of pizza makers around here who can certainly throw together a world-class pie.
This got Cheryl’s wheels turning. Determined to put Maine on the map, she practiced making different pizzas with local ingredients over the next few weeks. By the time our visitors arrived, she was ready to unveil her creation “ Fresh lobster & asparagus pizza with ricotta cheese and tarragon infused olive oil.
We watched as the crackling fire lightly browned the toppings, and listened as the flavors came to life, sizzling to the surface. We took our first bite and knew we were tasting wood fired pizza at its best.
We’ve kept it under wraps for a while now, in pursuit of perfection, but at this point we feel guilty about not sharing such an unforgettable recipe. It just wouldn’t be fair to you and all the other pizza lovers around the world. As the saying goes, ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.
Cheryl’s Wood Fired Lobster & Asparagus Pizza
- 2 1 lb lobsters cooked, shucked and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 1/2 Cups cooked asparagus diagonally cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/4-1/2 Cup melted butter
- 2 Cups grated havarti or fontina cheese, or Amy’s homemade ricotta (my preference)
- Tarragon infused olive oil
Tarragon Infused Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 Tsp sea salt
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and put in the refrigerator until ready to place on the pizza. Have pizza dough ready to go.
Take the asparagus and wash it. Cut off the woody ends so all you have is the delicate part of the stalk. Cut into 1″ pieces with a diagonal cut. It will actually look like the pieces are more than 2″ cut this way. Using medium heat, place 1-2 tbsp olive oil and a pat of butter in a skillet. The butter will keep the olive oil from overheating. Add the asparagus and saute for about 2-3 minutes but do not brown. Then add 2 tbsp of water, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and tender. Before removing add sea salt to taste. Remove from pan and drain off any liquid and let cool in the refrigerator to stop the cooking process.
Take the cooked lobster and remove from the shell. I like to use every bit of the lobster meat I can so this includes the claws and tail. Take these and cut into 1″ pieces.
Once all these ingredients are prepared, melt the butter, (this is the really decadent part), I dip the pieces of lobster in the butter, draining any excess off before placing on the pizza, mmmm…
On a Roll
Roll the pizza dough into the desired diameter and thickness. I like it on the thin side. Brush the surface of the dough with the tarragon infused olive oil making sure to include the chopped tarragon. Then I place the cheese, the butter dipped lobster and asparagus spacing them evenly around.
Place in the oven. Because the lobster and asparagus are already cooked, we only need to get the crust to brown, the cheese to melt and the toppings heated. I usually have my Le Panyol oven around 650 degrees, so it may only take 3-4 minutes. Make sure you move the pizza around to keep them from burning. Once the cheese is melted and the dough is browned on the bottom and edges, remove. Let stand a couple of minutes, slice, and bon appetit, real Maine lobster pizza!
This is just one of the many recipes we’ll feature on our blog this summer. Enjoy, and happy pizza making! Remember, the world is your lobster.
Note: This recipe makes 2 10″ pizzas. We use King Arthur Flour whole wheat pizza dough. For a non-wood fired lobster pizza, a pre-baked crust would need to be used. The toppings would then be placed in the same manner. The cooking time may vary. Cook until the cheese has melted and toppings heated.