Archive for July, 2010

Mushroom Pizza with Cambozola and Cherries from Savour-Fare

This pizza perfect post comes directly from Kate, the brains behind Savour-Fare. Kate’s creations have been featured on Food52, Tastepotting, Foodgawker, Foodista and The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen.

When it comes to pizza toppings, mushrooms are pretty classic.  The combination of a rich tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese and mild brown mushrooms is the stuff of high school date nights, family dinners at the Jersey shore, and Friday night phone calls by frazzled parents to the local delivery joint.  But while familiar can be good, it can also be a little boring.  You might look at the combination of mushrooms and pizza and yawn, thinking you’ve seen it all before.

But you would be wrong.

There’s a reason that mushroom pizza is a classic.  Nothing quite replicates the intense savoriness of a sautéed mushroom, which gives the pizza an instant flavor boost.  For this dish, I prefer the rich flavor of shiitakes, which are easy to find in my neck of the woods, to a milder button mushroom, but you can also do this with portobellos, cremini or any full flavored mushroom. Pair the mushrooms with a brush of good quality olive oil, a few slices of a rich blue cheese to enhance the mushrooms’ natural umami, and a pop of something sweet, and you’ve got yourself an elegant and unexpected hors d’oeuvre, or an easy weeknight dinner that’s a break from your ordinary routine.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made in almost  no time at all, apart from the actual dough.  You can buy prepared pizza dough at many markets these days, or make your own (my favorite recipe for pizza dough can be found here).  Form your dough into the desired shape (I always like oval, since it fits so much better into my oven, and it slices up nicely as an appetizer) and preheat your oven to HOT.    Slice up the mushrooms, sauté them quickly with some garlic and olive oil, then top your pizza dough with your mushrooms, slices of cheese and fruit.  After 10 minutes in a blistering oven, your mushroom pizza comes out bubbly, brown and bursting with flavor.

A classic in the making.

Recipe

Mushroom Pizza with Cambozola Cheese and Cherries

8 ounces  raw pizza dough

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme

6 ounces Cambozola cheese

1/3 cup sweet dark cherries (they are in season)

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Pit your cherries and slice them in half.  Set aside.

Shape the pizza dough into one or more oblong shapes and set on a cookie sheet.  Don’t bake it yet.

Remove the stems from your mushrooms (you can skip this step if you’re using Portobello mushrooms, but the stems on shiitake mushrooms are woody and should be discarded).  Slice the mushroom caps.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the mushrooms, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and sauté over medium high heat until the mushrooms are soft and browned.

Brush your pizza dough with the remaining olive oil. Top with mushrooms, sprinkle with thyme, add cherries and arrange sliced cambozola cheese over the top.

Bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust has baked to a golden brown.  Slice and enjoy.

 

Looking for more pizza-making tips? Check out this Comprehensive Guide to Pizza Making from No Meal No Health.

The ABC’s of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is THE talk around town, which you may have noticed just from reading some of our recent mushroom news posts. As mushrooms are one of the only food sources of the “sunshine vitamin,” not to mention the only source in the produce aisle, we’ve invited leading global vitamin D expert Dr. Michael F. Holick to tell us what we need to know about vitamin D.

Q: Why is vitamin D so important?

A: “The benefits of vitamin D are varied and profound. Emerging research suggests vitamin D may be as vital to your heart and brain health as it is to bone health. Increasing levels of vitamin D may also play a positive role on immunity and a remarkable number of daily ailments.”

Q: How can we get more vitamin D?

A: “I recommend a combination of food, sun exposure and supplements for my patients. Research suggests adults should try to aim for about 2,000 IUs daily. I personally take 3,000 IUs daily from supplements and food sources combined. I also expose my arms and legs to natural sunlight for about 10-15 minutes, two to three times a week, while cycling or playing tennis followed by good sun protection. I always wear sunscreen on my face since it is the most sun-exposed and is only nine percent of your body surface.”

Q: What are the best foods to eat for vitamin D?

A: “Mushrooms happen to be one of the top food sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms are unique because they’re the only item in the produce aisle to contain vitamin D. Did you know that mushrooms are actually like humans as they can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to light? You can also find vitamin D in wild-caught salmon and fortified foods like orange juice, milk, cereal or yogurt.”

If you’re looking to add more vitamin D to your plate, check out these D-lightful recipes: Baja Salmon with Mushrooms or a Portabella Omelet Topped with Portabella Bacon. If you’re interested in more information about mushrooms and vitamin D, check out the vitamin D download. A special thanks to Dr. Holick for his special guest appearance on the Mushroom Channel. To learn more about vitamin D and Dr. Holick’s latest book, check out The Vitamin D Solution at DrHolick.com.