asparagus and fried egg pizza

According to the Weather Channel website, it is currently 92°F in Los Angeles, but “feels like” 88°F. Well you know what, Weather Channel? I feel like you might be getting a little big for your britches. I feel like you should probably stick to what you know instead of speculating on the human perceptual apparatus. Because you might have access to Doppler radar and weather satellites, Weather Channel, but you haven’t been in my backyard today. I just checked the secretrometer, and actually watched it elevate past “apple pie-in-a-jar” all the way up to “maple bacon cake pops” — which, if my calculations are correct, translates to something like 587°F, AKA a Tuesday so hot you could fry an egg on it.

So that’s what I did.

On a day this hot, there’s nothing for it but turning your oven up to 425°F, breaking out a cast iron pan, and making a pizza. Because I’m no mathemagician, but 425°F is at least two hundred degrees below maple bacon cake pops. And yeah, I know the whole fried egg on a veggie pizza thing has been done, but you know what, Naysayer Channel? Sweating makes me cranky, and this morning I discovered that I can no longer zip up my only pair of shorts. So don’t test me!

Pizza with Asparagus and Fried Eggs
(serves two)

-1/2 lump pizza dough
-2 eggs
-1/2 bunch thin asparagus, with the ends chopped off
-1 large clove of garlic, minced
-5-6 leaves of fresh basil, sliced
-1-2 oz hard cheese, grated
-4 tbs olive oil
-salt and pepper

No, you’re not insane, you’re just hungry: crank that oven all the way up to 425°F and break out a cast iron or other oven-safe pan. Put 2-3 tablespoons of your olive oil in the bottom and spread it around, using the rest to make the dough slippery as you stretch it out to the size of the pan. Now take the garlic, half of the basil, and a little salt and pepper, and spread them as evenly as possible on the surface of the dough. Place the pan in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, so the dough can firm up before you add the toppings.

Warm up another pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and, once it’s hot, throw your asparagus in there with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Ooh, perfect timing! Once your asparagus is done, transfer it to a plate and then — while wearing gardening gloves, or with your hands wrapped in at least fourteen layers of heat-proof fabric — pull the cast iron pan out of the oven. Arrange the asparagus on the surface so that it creates two little bird’s nest shapes, where the eggs will go. Sprinkle the rest of your basil over the surface of the dough to stretch your fingers, and then crack those eggs right on to the pizza. You can fry them a little ahead of time like I did, since I’m still not exactly confident in my egg-craccuracy (we all have our weak areas), but the oven’s so hot that they’ll set pretty much instantaneously. Top with the grated cheese and some pepper, and return the whole shebang to the oven. Wait about 10-15 minutes, if you can stand it. And then make sure you give the pizza some time to cool once it’s done. Because seriously, if you live in LA, you could have just cooked your pizza on your neighbor’s concrete patio.

As you eat your fresh-out-of-the-oven lunch, congratulate yourself for being bold. Let the sissies eat their salads in air conditioned cafes — you just burned the roof of your mouth on cheese. Rock. And. Roll!


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