Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Two Moons Special: Shitake Mushroom-Cornmeal Crust Pizza


I've been holding out on this recipe for some time now. It's probably our favorite dinner to make at home, so much so that we've dubbed it the "Two Moons Special." And while I've wanted to share it with my loyal readers (are there any out there?), I've been worried that I wouldn't have any original recipes good enough to follow this one.

But I can't hold out any longer. This is my absolute favorite pizza, and it is so hearty, savory, and satisfying that it won't even occur to you that there isn't any cheese or cheese-like topping on it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Shitake Mushroom - Cornmeal Crust Pizza
Serves two people.
For crust:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

For topping:
1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
6 oz. fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup artichoke hearts, cut into pieces
1/4 cup black olives, sliced or chopped (I prefer the oil-cured variety for this pizza)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place all dry ingredients for crust into a large bowl, mix well. Add oil and water, then knead with your hands for about 8 minutes, until dough becomes smooth and elastic.

2. Press crust into a tart or pie pan, as shown below. I find this crust turns out best when you cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer at least as long as it takes you to prepare the topping ingredients. Even better if you freeze it at least an hour. For some reason, the scientific explanation for which I couldn't begin to tell you, this seems to make the crust come out crisper and crunchier.


3. Heat olive oil on medium-high. Saute garlic for a few minutes until softened and barely golden (do not allow to crisp). Add mushrooms and a pinch of crushed red pepper and saute several minutes until softened and browned. Salt and pepper to taste.


4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of sauce (I like a lot of sauce on this pizza, use less if you prefer) onto the crust, and spread around evenly. The bottom of a ladle works well for this. Spoon mushroom/garlic mixture evenly over sauce, then add bits of artichoke hearts and olives, evenly.



5. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until crust is golden and crispy. Before serving, sprinkle fresh basil chiffonade on top.



5 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic - I'm trying it right away!

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  2. That looks delicious. Adding it to my recipes! Thanks.

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  3. Oh my gosh! Eating it right now... AMAZING. The crust... oh the crust. There aren't words to describe how delicious the crust is. A+++

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  4. Looks incredible! I love a cornmeal crust, yum yum!

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  5. Ooooo! This looks fantastic. I had an itch to make pizza today but didn't find a recipe to my liking. Now I have this one, which sounds great. Thanks!!

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