Asparagus in Blankets

Fresh asparagus combines with cheese and tomatoes in this easy baked appetizer. A favorite of King Louis XIV, this noble stalk costs a king's ransom for much of the year. But in season, asparagus is affordable for us commoners — and uncommonly delicious.

Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    1/2 pound uncooked, chilled pizza dough (from a pizzeria or supermarket)
    8 to12 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cooked*
    1 small tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
    2 ounces cheddar or mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands, flatten the 4 pieces of dough to about 1/4 inch thick, approximately 2 by 5 inches. Make 4 bundles of asparagus, 2 or 3 stalks to a bundle. Cut them in half crosswise. (You'll have 4 to 6 pieces per bundle.)
  2. Lay each asparagus bundle along one side of a piece of dough. Cover asparagus with a tomato slice, then layer cheese over it. Roll dough, starting with side closest to fillings, to form the blanket, ending seam side down. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil lightly coated with olive oil. Let blankets sit on baking sheet about 15 minutes, or until they're room temperature. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*How to cook it: Boil asparagus in salted water until the stalks are just tender, about 4 minutes, then chill them.

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