When we were kids, my Mom made the best mushroom soup ever. Rushing home for lunch was always worth it when we found a pot of her mushroom soup greeting us. Since then, I’ve always been a fan of mushrooms. Sliced button or cremini always find their way into an omelet or stir-fry. Portabellas are amazing when done up on the grill, or stuffed with herbs and diced vegetables for an excellent vegetarian main course. And of course I always seem to have a pot of mushroom soup on the stove for our catering clients (I sneak a little sherry into mine - don’t think Mom did that!). What I love about mushrooms is that they are so adaptable. You can throw them in coconut milk curries, or in red wine sauces, or with cream and Dijon mustard for an amazing compliment to chicken. Pan-fried with butter and slathered on toast is a favourite after-work snack of mine. Besides being utterly delicious, mushrooms are also super good for you. They are the only vegetable source for Vitamin D - how cool is that? Also full of B Complex vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and immune-boosting goodness, mushrooms deserve a little space in the shopping cart.
By far my favourite way to get mushrooms into my life is by eating them on pizza, especially with their best friend, bacon. This recipe is my dream pizza - mushrooms, bacon, Boursin and feta cheese, tomatoes and of course, fresh basil. I used button and portabella mushrooms - giving them a light sauté first to eliminate some of their juices (helps avoid a soggy pizza!). The whole wheat crust is simple to throw together, but if you are tight for time, the toppings would work well on a pre-made crust, or even pita bread. Balsamic vinegar reduced down turns almost syrupy and provides the perfect finishing touch when drizzled over a slice of this dreamy pizza. The sweet/salty/cheesy/mushroom goodness happening here makes for one delightful biteful.
Double Mushroom Pizza with Bacon & Balsamic Drizzle
To make the crust:
1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp hot chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
In a large bowl, stir yeast into warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, sugar, salt, and oil until foamy. Slowly mix in the flour and herbs, mixing well until everything is absorbed. The dough will be soft but not too sticky - if this happens just add a bit more flour. Drizzle some more olive oil into a large bowl and place your round of dough inside, turning it over to coat in oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour in a warm spot. Dough will double in size, then punch it down. Divide into three portions. For this recipe you only need one portion, so go ahead and freeze the other two for later use. Cool! Pizza dough in the freezer!
For the Pizza:
2 tbsp butter
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
3 ½ cups button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 package Boursin cheese (the herb and garlic is great)
8 slices bacon, cooked until medium crisp, chopped
handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup fresh basil, sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in large skillet and fry the portabella mushroom slices until soft. Remove from pan. Melt the other tbsp of butter and fry the remaining button mushrooms, until soft and all liquid is evaporated. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one third of the above pizza dough recipe, so it’s around 12” by 16”. It doesn’t have to be perfect - it’s pizza. The thinner you roll it out, the thinner it will bake up, obviously. Place on a pizza stone, or a parchment lined bake sheet. If using a pre-made crust you can proceed with the following as well. Scatter the Boursin cheese over the base of the crust. Top with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and crumbled feta. Place in the lower rack of a preheated 400*F oven and bake until golden, 20-30 minutes, checking centre for doneness. (If using a pre-made crust, your baking time will be less). Sprinkle the pizza with fresh basil before slicing.
While the pizza is cooking, pour ½ cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until it begins to turn syrupy. It will thicken as it cools. Pour into a squeeze bottle.
Let pizza stand for a few minutes before slicing. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serves 3-4.
If you love the mushroom/balsamic vinegar combination, check out my recipe for Sausage & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze.
Thank you so much Renee for sharing this fabulous recipe with us!
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