Thursday, November 5, 2009

Must love mushrooms and be willing to embrace garlic

This was the recipe that introduced me to pre-baking my pizza crust to get it nice and crisp, so it holds a special place in my heart. Usually I just improvise my pizza on Friday nights, using whatever goodies, sauces and cheese I can find in the fridge. So, this one, since it actually involves following a recipe, is like more of a special occasion pizza - one for company or to perk up an otherwise boring Saturday night. This pizza - with its garlic infused everything, mounds of browned mushrooms, and FOUR cups of cheese rivals anything you'd get in your local gourmet pizzeria. It will fill your house with the scent of garlic on steroids and will shout to the neighborhood that you mean business in the kitchen.

Mushroom and Garlic Pizza
  • One bag TJ's pizza dough or one 14 ounce can Pillsbury pizza crust
  • 3 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems discarded
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces shredded swiss cheese (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces shredded mozarella cheese (2 cups)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the pizza dough out to cover a large baking sheet, then brush with 2 TBL olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the shitake and white mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 TBL oil over high heat and sauté the mushrooms until golden, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Sprinkle the baked dough with the swiss cheese, then the mushrooms, then the mozarella. Sprinkle a little more salt over the top and return pizza to oven. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Note: you can use any type of mushrooms. I sometimes use two bags of pre-sliced mushrooms (crimini or white) from Trader Joe's. Last time I made it I added some sautéed spinach, but its incredible just with the mushrooms.

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