Hey there! I'm Isabelle, chief cook and bottle washer at Crumb: A Food Blog, and I'm thrilled to be back on the Mushrooms Canada blog today.
I don't know how your summer's been going so far, but it's been positively sweltering here in Toronto, and that means I'm doing my best to avoid turning on the oven. And since there are only so many charcuterie platters and big salads a girl can eat before she starts craving something a little more substantial, my trusty backyard grill has been working overtime.
One of my current favourites is grilled pizza, mostly because it’s so quick and easy to make, and there’s basically no limit to the potential topping combinations.
Today, though, I'm going to focus on one specific combination that I'm especially loving right now. It starts with a simple grilled pizza base, then layers on a combination of earthy mushrooms and smoky mozzarella cheese that's melted to ooey-gooey perfection on the grill. And then, right before serving, it’s piled high with peppery baby arugula tossed in a simple lemon-and-oil dressing.
I've used a blend of white button and crimini mushrooms to top off this pizza, but it’s also great made with shiitakes or oyster mushrooms if you’d rather take a walk on the wild side (the wild mushroom side, that is).
I know it sounds awfully simple, but the beauty of this pizza is in the contrasts - the earthiness of the mushrooms versus the freshness of the arugula, the melty gooeyness of the cheese against the crunchiness of the grilled pizza dough, the brightness of the lemon juice against the mellowness of the garlic, and on and on it goes.
Not to mention that it’s basically a main dish and a salad all in one, which is a pretty sweet bonus in my books. I mean, when it's been dang hot, why expend the extra energy to make a side dish if you don't have to?
Hopefully this heat wave will be over soon, but in the meantime, having an excuse to make more pizza (and eat more mushrooms) isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Grilled Mushroom and Arugula Pizzettes
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Serves 4
1 tbsp butter
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
8 oz brown crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 pound prepared pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
2 cups fresh baby arugula
2 tsp lemon juice
1. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms in butter, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and starting to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool off.
2. Preheat a lightly oiled gas or charcoal grill on high heat. While the grill is warming up, divide the pizza dough into four equal pieces, and gently stretch into ½” thick rounds. Brush the tops lightly with a little olive oil. (Don’t worry if your rounds look more like amoebas, as long as they're a nice even thickness. They’ll taste fine, regardless of how they're shaped.)
3. Once the grill reaches about 500F, gently place the pizzettes onto the grill over direct heat, oiled side down. Brush the tops with a little more olive oil, and then grill for about 1-2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp. Turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes to crisp up the other side. Remove from grill and arrange on a baking tray.
4. Top each pizzette with a few pinches of cheese, then add a thin layer of mushrooms and finish with the rest of the cheese. Return to the grill and cook over indirect heat with the lid closed for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
5. Meanwhile, toss the arugula with lemon juice and the remaining olive oil. Pile the dressed arugula onto the finished pizzas, and serve immediately.
Don't let the summer heat break you down! Isabelle proves that we don't need our stoves or ovens to make delicious meals. Thanks, as always, to Crumb: A Food Blog for bringing such inspired recipes to our tables.
Be sure to follow along with Isabelle at Crumb: A Food Blog, and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.