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.
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
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.