Friday was labor day in France and across most of the world. Although I knew labor day was coming up, I didn’t think twice about what that meant. It’s one of the three or four holidays per year where all grocery stores are closed as well as all retail, all public transit and most restaurants. Since we haven’t switched over to the French UHT milk (that’s safe for weeks at room temperature), we realized this morning that we were almost out of “fresh” milk.
We went to pick up a friend who would have otherwise come via public transit, and happened on a little farm market, Coco Fruits that was open and had milk. The overwhelming scent of in-season strawberries and fresh produce greeted me at the door. The sound of the pouring rain brought back soothing memories of raining days working at Weaver’s Orchard.
We often get these “flashbacks” of places we used to know in our life back in the states. A scent will trigger a memory of a favorite place. The smell of freshly ground coffee will remind me of a great conversation with a friend over a cup of joe. Coming across a receipt will remind us of the time we dropped in on a friend after running errands near their house. While we love our life in France, sometimes it’s the happiest places here that make us the most homesick.
Seeing the bright colors of the fruit contrasted with the gloominess of the day lifted my spirits that day. Believe me, I needed it after breaking our French press (again) and spilling coffee everywhere earlier on Friday.
As if the brightness of the place wasn’t enough, the cashier was one of the most cheerful people I’ve met met here, especially considering that he was one of the very small minority who had to work today. He saw the asparagus and cream I was purchasing and suggested I make a quiche with asparagus tips, crème fraîche and comté cheese.
I had already made an asparagus quiche recipe for the blog last spring, and I just happened to have some of my thin & crispy restaurant-style pizza dough on hand. To master that wood-fired pizza flavor at home, I follow this pizza dough recipe, make sure that the dough is room temperature when I stretch and twirl it, use my pizza docker to prick the crust and cook it on my pre-heated pizza stone at 500 degrees fahrenheit. Plus, you can even watch a how-to-video on making artisan pizza dough at home!
Canning Bruschetta & Creating Artisan Pizza: Italian Cuisine with Rachel VanDuzer and Brian Licitra from Deep Focus on Vimeo.
If you’re looking for even more toppings for your pizzas, check out my sister’s recipe for Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Pizza on Weaver’s Orchard’s blog. She even made her own sun-dried tomatoes. Who knew that was even possible?
- 1 recipe pizza dough
- Per “individual” pizza (makes about 2 servings)
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup shredded comté cheese
- 8 asparagus spears (top ⅓ to ½), diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced or diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Stretch dough according to directions
- Prick the crust with a fork or pizza docker.
- Transfer to your pre-heated pizza stone in the oven. Either place directly on the stone or use a VERY well aerated pan above the pizza stone.
- Bake approximately 3 minutes, until crust is just beginning to “set” (turn from dough to crust).
- Remove from oven. Spread crème fraîche, comté, garlic and asparagus on top. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Return to oven. Bake an additional 4-7 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.