Asparagus and Aioli Fried Pizza

Have you ever felt something was not worth your while? Till someone else made a case/presented the value proposition for it and caused you to do a 180 degree turn? Me too.

Value Proposition – the benefits ascribed to a product or service, less the costs.


Costs of making aioli? Time and emotion, large chance of failure, physical exertion with strain in unused arm muscles.


Because no one had ever shared the value proposition for homemade aioli with me, I was deeply content to pass on by. Ditto for Mayo, Hellman’s worked just fine. As for Hollandaise, I stepped outside my comfort zone via a ‘blender’ recipe which ended in absolute disaster. But all that was pre very simple instructions from Amanda Hesser on food52. It showed me that my ‘mindtalk’ about the difficulty/guaranteed failure when making emulsified sauces was just that – mindtalk and very far from reality. Especially as I’d only ever tried it once.

Unlike Thomas Edison, (the third most prolific inventor in world history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany) who when faced with yet another solution to the ‘light bulb’  which resulted in it not lighting,  said

I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

Thomas Edison, February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931

So it was last Sunday, fresh from camp where we only got a little wet (thank you for your prayers and best wishes) and before I headed to Cambridge, UK on Monday, I followed the simple instructions on how to make aioli, actually moving from just thinking to finally doing. And for my efforts I was rewarded with success and minimal exertion. And full of gratitude to my friend Christy, who kindly loaned me her second camera for a whole month! I have to say I have the very best friends!


Anyhow, when one has numerous risks to overcome, they must be taken in the right order. Easier said than done though but for me, this is the very reason I love food. Its forgiving nature, its openness in allowing you to fail yet try again, often at a cost but usually not prohibitive, save for when you’re cooking with 700/kg truffles from the south of Italy!


The Havard Business review says: Risk and value are inversely proportional: When you remove risk, you increase value. But it matters in what sequence you tackle risks, because not all of them are created equal.

In the case of emulsified/whipped cream and sauces I think the critical risk is ‘not having spanking clean utensils’. I prefer to clean my stainless steel bowls with hot water and dry off with vinegar-moistened kitchen tissues.

Into the clean bowl goes the egg yolks, vinegar, salt and minced garlic.  In one hand a large balloon whisk and in the other, oil in a cup, tilted and ready to pour in a ‘thin’steady stream. At this stage, the challenge of balancing the hand that pours the oil, while whisking can be halved by employing the services of a ‘helper’. That way, you don’t have to worry about failing. In my case, no helpers were in sight so I took the risk.

I was stunned to see how quickly the aioli took shape, transforming from a light custard to a thick, spreadable paste. I felt every inch the cook, adding a classic recipe to my ‘know-how’ and learning a thing or two about addressing future challenges.

And because great things go in threes, I combined Thing 1 (aioli) with Thing #2? Fried Pizza….and 3? Spring on a plate, aka green asparagus! The result, a delicious pizza with a soft but chewy base, lashings of perfect garlicky sauce and ribbons of green. Extremely good value wouldn’t you say? While it may seem like a lot to do, the aioli costs you little time. And with my ‘lazy’ no-knead dough, no one broke into a sweat.

The benefits – knowing ‘how’ to work with emulsified sauces with significant potential to apply this learning in future and above all, a delicious, perfect condiment free from additives!

Asparagus and Aioli Fried Pizza

3-4 fried pizza bases (recipe below)
Aioli, as desired (recipe below)
3 – 4 green asparagus spears, washed and base (~3cm removed)
150 – 250 g fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into thin slices


You can use apple cider and wine vinegar instead of the sherry vinegar. Some people also use some lemon/lime  juice in combination with the vinegar

I prefer a combination of oils instead of using only olive oil, as the taste can be overpowering

Adjust the salt at the end, so you don’t over season.

If the sauce is too thick, thin with some water. If it is too thin…then there’s no reversing. It will still taste good!

Asparagus Pizza

Prepare Asparagus

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the base of the asparagus to form ribbons. Then cut off the spears and slice longitudinally

Cook Pizza

Preheat the grill to the highest temperature.

Onto each fried pizza base (sitting on a baking tray), smear some aioli to taste and top with slices of fresh mozzarella.


Finish off with ribbons of asparagus and place about 6 inches down from the hot grill.


Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the dough are a touch golden.

Remove from the oven and serve with more aioli on the side.

DSCN0449Fried Pizza Base

175ml lukewarm water
10g fresh yeast
200g strong white bread flour
50g semolina (or strong white bread flour)
1/3 teaspoon salt
Extra flour, for dusting
Flavourless oil, to grease dough and bowl and for deep frying

In a bowl, combine the water and the fresh yeast, stirring/mixing till the yeast is dissolved. Combine the flours with the salt then using a dough whisk or a wooden spoon, gently add the bread-salt mix to the yeasty water, stirring till the flour is all used up. Using your hands, incorporate any last bits of flour. Carefully shape the dough into a ball and place in bowl. Gently oil the top of the dough and cover lightly, or with greased clingfilm (oiled side down).

Allow dough rise for a couple of hours, then gently turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate and cut dough into 3-4 pieces and then shape balls. Roll out each ball into 1/2cm thickness and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat up a large frying pan with about 2cm of vegetable oil and once hot (browned cube of bread in 30 seconds), fry the pizza base. You’ll notice the top of the dough bubble up, from the rim to the centre. Once that stops, about 30 seconds, it is time to flip the base over and cook the other side. Remove after 30 seconds, shaking the base gently to remove the excess oil.

DSCN0433 DSCN0436

Place onto a baking tray and use as directed, or desired.


1 large egg yolk, preferably from organic eggs
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 clove (smoked) garlic, mashed or passed through a garlic pres
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Optional, pinch of freshly ground black pepper
DSCN0419Make the Aioli

Rinse a stainless steel bowl with hot water and then dry with kitchen tissues. Put the egg yolk, sherry vinegar, mashed garlic and a tiny pinch of salt in the clean bowl. Using a large balloon whisk, whisk as you gently pour in the grapeseed oil in a thin stream. The mixture will thicken and lighten in colour as you whisk.


Once the grapeseed oil is finished, continue with the olive oil till the mixture is thickened to your liking. At this stage, you may want to use up all the oil or stop. Check for salt and adjust to taste. Sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper, if you like and refrigerate till ready to use.

DSCN0428Storage: Refrigerate and best used within a week.

Are you in the habit of making your own Mayo? And Aioli?

Check out other aioli recipes

Chipotle aioli, the 2nd aioli I made, on food 52, perfectly paired with Steve’s sweet potato chips and anchovy fritters!

I also love Natasha of 5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventures, smoky poblano aioli

DSCN0450[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Asparagus and Aioli Fried Pizza – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. I am impressed you made your own aoli, I have to say that I have shyed away from making my own. The pizza looks amazing and does shout spring! What a good way to add the asparagus, love the ribbons. Yumm! You give me such good ideas, my list is getting so long. 🙂

  2. I’ve yet to make a single egg yolk-based sauce but I suppose it’d be a good way to balance out my need for eggwhites for various cakes/desserts.

    Love the look of the fried pizza base – looks like naan!

  3. I’ve made aioli quite successfully in my processor and love it. I also love these photo’s. The shaved asparagus looks so delicate and just the perfect shade of green – lovely.

    • Thanks Amanda, good to know you’ve had blender success….I need to try it again! I’m also glad you like the photos.

      Gastronomy Gal – thank you. I find that I get a lot of energy from inspirational quotes – good to hear you find them inspiring too.

      Maria, You can’t really go wrong with Pizza can you?

      Conor dear, I hope all goes well with your tests and you’re no idiot. Thanks also for the anti-idiot accolade. Though sometimes……sigh.

      Shaz, Yes, the aioli works…..surprise, surprise. Glad you enjoyed my photo in all my Camping glory!

      Blon duck. concur.

  4. Wow- great work on the ailoi. I’ve never made any aioli but this has inspired me. I have, however, made asparagus pizza and it was divine. Yours looks great. Also I love the inspirational quotes you put into your posts.

  5. I am very, very silly for catching up on your blog whilst I am currently fasting (for a medical test.. nothing serious). What an idiot.

    You, however, are an anti-idiot for going to the trouble of making your aioli from scratch. I have never done it either, and wondered just how worth it it was, and now I know not to be too lazy!

    Really cool use for it too. Love those super thin asparagus slivers.

  6. Well done on the aioli front! I only tried making my own last year and was incredibly surprised that it worked 🙂 Yes, a lot of mind-talk goes on in my head too. Hmm, deep-fried pizza sounds very, very addictive. And glad you had a great camping trip, love the photo.

    • Thanks Penny, Adrian and Steve. I do feel a touch of pride!

      Sally, glad the pep talk worked…..did it? Really? Then I’ll be expecting to see a Middle Eastern version….soon. LOL. Thank you.

      Rhonda, my jar of Hellman’s staring at me! Glad you like the photos.

      5 Star Foodie, hope you enjoyed your pizza! I wish I could see ramps, and Meyer lemons and Dandelion greens….someday I’ll hold them, smell them…even use them in a dish. Till then….

      Su-yin, it does make great picnic bites – I transported a cousin to this pizza, all the way to camp and feasted on it while I set the tent up (with help from some kind camp neighbours)

      Celia. Prawns. Mayo. Yum…..

  7. What a gorgeous looking pizza, I love the idea of a good spicy aioli and the fresh asparagus. I’ve never fried a pizza before, but must give the technique a try. Oz, your aioli looks divine, nice and thick just as it should be….brava! – S

  8. I’m dying to try this, I don’t make aioli often because Hellman’s is just to convenient and lasts longer. Your photos are stunning.

  9. This is seriously the most fabulous idea ever! And so very timely too – I have sooo much ramps aioli left over from a party today and have leftover mozarella too and asparagus. I will totally be making this tomorrow! Thanks so much!

  10. Ooooh fried pizza! That is genius!! Am definitely going to try this when it gets slightly warmer here, this would be the perfect picnic food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.