Shrimp asparagus flatbread with mascarpone

Shrimp asparagus flatbread – slice it up and serve it as starter, or just have it as your main dish. The crust is spread with delicious zesty mascarpone and the steamed asparagus and shrimps are just the stars of the show. Add a glass of cold white wine and you may have the perfect summer aperitivo option.

Steamed asparagus, shrimps and a zesty mascarpone cream top this fabulous shrimp asparagus flatbread. Enjoy hot or cold, perfect as starter or main dish. A summer favourite.

What is a flatbread?

As the name suggests, a flatbread is a bread that is flat (you dont say!). “Flatbread” is a broad category – it includes all sorts of flat breads possible, like naan, piadina, paratha… Thin crust pizza is a flatbread, too. While regular flatbread is often unleavened, a pizza dough has yeast in it. As thin as you may stretch it, even the thinnest of pizzas is made with a leavened dough.

What we are making here is a flatbread that is, really, made following a pizza dough recipe. So why am I not calling my shrimp asparagus flatbread a pizza, then? The truth is, in this recipe there is no tomato, no mozzarella, no oregano, just a little olive oil in the dough. The topping has such flavours as shrimp, lemon zest, chives – not your regular pizza toppings.

I could have called it a pizza, but this shrimp asparagus flatbread with mascarpone is not quite what you imagine when looking for pizza inspiration. Let’s face it, if you ended up reading this recipe it’s because you were looking for loaded flatbreads rather than traditional pizzas! And this is exactly the kind of inspiration I want to give with my asparagus mascarpone flatbread. Or should we call it asparagus flatbread pizza?

Shrimp asparagus flatbread with zesty mascarpone sauce.

How to make shrimp asparagus flatbread

As we were saying, this asparagus flatbread is made on a simple pizza base. We will let it rise for less than 1 hour, there really isn’t any need for longer resting time. I normally let my pizza dough rise for a couple of hours, until it really doubles in size, but we’re not aiming for any large bubbles of air and we’re going to really stretch our dough thin.

I like to begin with the flatbread dough. Even if it will not rest for a long time, it it still what needs to be made first. In a bowl combine:

  • 250 g flour
  • 150 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Stir with a spatula until the dough starts coming together, then pour in about 2 tbsp olive oil. Transfer to a working surface and knead until you have a firm dough ball. Adjust the amount of flour or water if the dough is either too sticky or too dry. Different flours absorb water in different ways.

Olive oil added to flatbread dough.

Put back the dough into the bowl, cover with cling film and place somewhere warm for 45 minutes. I placed mine in the oven with just the light on.

Steaming the asparagus

As the dough rests, the next step is steaming the asparagus stalks. For a merely aesthetic reason we want to use them whole. This means that they do not fit my regular steamer basket. To steam whole asparagus you need to use a larger pot with just 1 cm of water in it and your asparagus “standing” tilted against the sides of the pot, so that only the bottoms of the stalks are sitting in the water. If your pot is so large that the asparagus slides down to the bottom, place a heat resistant object inside (like a glass jar) under the asparagus tips so they can stay over the water level.

Place the pot on the stove on high heat and cover with a lid. Steaming the asparagus takes 10 minutes from the moment the water boils, so the whole procedure should not take more than 15 minutes. When the asparagus is done, drain the water and let stalks cool until safe to handle. Then proceed to cut the asparagus stalks lengthways. Steamed asparagus is soft and should cut like butter. In the meantime you can prepare the zesty mascarpone sauce. I’m using boiled shrimps in brine, so I don’t have much more to do than just drain them.

Zesty lemon mascarpone sauce with chives

In this recipe I’m giving you quantities that will yield enough mascarpone sauce to cover the flatbread. We are using half a regular mascarpone package. If you have no other use for the leftover half, just go ahead and make a double batch and enjoy some of this zesty savoury lemon mascarpone spread on toast. Otherwise just go ahead and make enough for this recipe, reserving the leftovers for something else. Anyway, this is what you need for this asparagus flatbread:

  • 125 g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Just stir all these ingredients together, it’s very simple. Really, that’s just that. So even if you’re not making a double batch directly, and 3-4 days from now you will stumble upon your open mascarpone package wondering what to do with it, you can always whip up this savoury lemon mascarpone cream in no time.

Mascarpone in larger bowl, smaller bowls with chives, lemon zest and salt.

What about the shrimps?

In this recipe I have used cooked shrimps in brine. They are quite a popular item to find in Sweden, as they are very very popular up here especially on sandwiches. Shrimps in brine are a bit on the expensive side, and it’s because they are hand-peeled, so they look really neat. Because they’re pre-cooked, the biggest advantage is that they will not shrink as they bake. Another alternative I came across recently is pickled shrimp (recipe by Basil & Bubbly).

You can also choose to peel your shrimp yourself, or use thawed frozen shrimps. If using frozen, choose a medium size otherwise they will just shrink too much and will not look as great. They may also get slightly too dry to eat. I have placed my shrimps on the flatbread before baking it, but you can also choose to add them at the end, as soon as the flatbread comes out of the oven. Baked shrimps will dry up as they cool, so unless serving this shrimp asparagus flatbread immediately, I’d recommend adding the shrimps after baking.

Sliced shrimp asparagus flatbread with zesty mascarpone sauce.
Pre-cooked shrimps don’t shrink as they bake, but they may dry up as the flatbread cools.

Assemble the asparagus mascarpone flatbread

After 45 minutes of rest, you can proceed to roll the dough out. Yes, roll it out, no hand stretching. This is another reason why I didn’t call this shrimp asparagus flatbread a pizza. Forget stretching the dough by hand and get your rolling pin out. I like my flatbreads oblong rather than round like a pizza, so I went for that kind of shape. Lightly spread some olive oil on a sheet pan and transfer your dough onto it.

Spread the lemon mascarpone cream sauce all over the flatbread, leaving about 1 cm from the edges. Place the steamed asparagus stalks all over the mascarpone, cut facing down. Add a teeny tiny sprinkle of salt over each asparagus, since they had not been seasoned in any possible way. Lastly, place the shrimps here and there in between the asparagus and on the sides.

Shrimps and asparagus topping mascarpone flatbread.

Bake in the preheated oven at 220°C (430°F) for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the crust look golden and some of the mascarpone may have browned as well. Stretched pretty thin and in a convection oven it should not take more time that that. Conventional ovens may require slightly longer.

Shrimp asparagus flatbread with zesty mascarpone sauce.

Asparagus mascarpone flatbread with mascarpone sauce.

Sprinkle some extra fresh chives and enjoy this shrimp asparagus flatbread straight from the oven, or let it cool down, divide it into small bits and have it as a snack while sipping on your favourite aperitivo!

And here’s some inspiration to other recipes you can make if you’ve got some ingredient leftovers:

Shrimp asparagus flatbread

A delicious flatbread topped with zesty mascarpone cream, shrimps and steamed asparagus.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Starter
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, flatbread, mascarpone, pizza, shrimp, thin-crust
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time (dough) 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 932 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food

Ingredients

Flatbread crust

  • 250 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 150 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Filling

  • 250 g asparagus (one bunch)
  • 60 g cooked shrimps drained/peeled
  • 125 g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp chives
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all the dough ingredients with the exception of olive oil in a bowl and stir. Add the olive oil when the dough is starting to come together. Knead for a couple of minutes until smooth and elastic. Place back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

  2. Trim asparagus stalks and place in a pot with about 1 cm water. They should be tilted against the wall of the pot, so that only the bottoms of the stalks are in the water and the tips are above it. Place a heat resistant object (like a glass jar) under the asparagus tips to hold them up if the pot is large. Set on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, covered. Steam for 10 minutes from the time the water boils. Remove from the water and let cool, then cut the asparagus lengthways.

  3. Combine the mascarpone, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and stir.

  4. Roll out the dough into an oblong shape. Lightly grease a sheet pan with some olive oil and transfer the dough to pan.

  5. Spread the mascarpone cream all over the surface of the crust, leaving about 1-2 cm from the edges.

  6. Place asparagus stalks over the mascarpone filling, cut facing down. Add the shrimps.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven at 220°C (430°F) for 10 minutes (fan-forced), or until the crust has taken a golden tone and some of the mascarpone may have browned.

Nutrition Facts
Shrimp asparagus flatbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 932 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 20g125%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 856mg37%
Potassium 439mg13%
Carbohydrates 105g35%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1951IU39%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 180mg18%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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