Welcome to December!
What a better way to celebrate the start of this wonderful month than by listening to some winter/holiday music and making yourself, and your loved ones, a pizza! My sister and I spent last night decorating her beautiful apartment. She really knows how to embrace the holidays. Her tree is perfect, her ornaments heartfelt, and the warmth of her abode is simply the icing on the cake. I cannot wait to spend more of the holidays sitting in front of her new liquor cabinet. 🙂
With all that said, start here with this perfect tune (click the image), dust off the homemade or store bought pizza crust, and start creating this delicious meal in the warmth of your home.
Caramelized Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza
Makes 1 sheet pan pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough – homemade (I use this recipe) or store-bought
- A couple pats of butter (a pat = 1/2 Tbsp or so)
- 2 – 3 lbs assorted wild mushrooms*, roughly chopped
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped, reserve half
- 3 – 4 anchovy filets, optional
- 2 – 3 Tbsp fresh thyme, reserve half
- 2 – 3 Tbsp capers, soaked in brine (not salted)
- A good creamy goat cheese (chèvre), the more the merrier, 250 – 350 g
- 2 cups part-skim mozzarella, grated
- A drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large skillet, heat a good drizzle of EVOO on high heat, drop in a few pats of butter. When the oil shimmers, reduce heat to medium high, and add in the mushrooms. Create one layer with a wooden spoon, and let sit in the hot oil to brown slightly, approx. 2 minutes. Add in half of the garlic, half of the fresh thyme, and season with salt and pepper. When cooked, total cooking time will be approx. 5 – 7 minutes, remove from heat, and drop in one last pat of butter – let it melt into the mushrooms. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a very thin rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, lightly spread half of the goat cheese over the dough, leaving a little edge for the crust. Sprinkle over remaining garlic.
Evenly distribute the mushrooms. Drop little pieces of goat cheese sporatically around the pizza, cover evenly with mozzarella, and finish with anchovy, capers, and capers.
Transfer to over for 15 – 18 minutes or until the crust is golden, and the cheese is all melty. Remove pizza from the oven, drizzle over some good quality extra virgin olive oil, add a light sprinkle of flaked sea salt and a good crackling of black pepper.
* The Pacific Northwest is particularly known for a wonderful variety of wild mushrooms. MM has a fun mushroom guy who brings him yummy mushrooms in a brown bag occasionally. This time around we had a ton of King Oyster mushrooms, and some creminis. If you get King Oyster mushrooms, be sure to slice them lengthwise thinly. Any variety of mushroom will do for this recipe.
Bust out a nice big thick earthy bottle of red wine for this pizza. A Chianti, Syrah/Shiraz, or California Cabernet Sauvignon will do the trick nicely. 🙂