There’s been a good deal of wild mushroom foraging recently at Chez Foti. Magnificent Parasol Mushrooms have been popping up literally all over our garden the last couple of weeks and I’ve been on a bit of a picking and eating frenzy. I wasn’t too sure what they were at first but after consultation with two sets of very knowledgeable neighbours and my trusty mushroom book I was pretty excited to find they were exceptionally good to eat!. And in fact some of the finest mushrooms I’ve ever tasted. We also have ceps and chanterelles growing in our garden, but there’s been very few this year (and neither in my opinion have been as good as the Parasols).
And so there’s been no end of wonderful freebie wild mushroom dinners lately at Chez Foti. Mushroom bruschetta, tarts, pizzas and risottos a plenty. Times like this make living here pretty special, when you really can eat off the land.
I make a lot of pizzas as at Chez Foti. Mainly because we have an original wood-fired bread oven in the lounge of our house which bakes amazing pizzas throughout the colder months (it’s too hot to light up most of the summer). But this pizza was actually baked in my new oven, testing out it’s pizza baking capabilities. And I wasn’t disappointed, it did the wonderful foraged mushrooms the justice they deserve.
I’ve been experimenting lately with tomato-less bases or ‘white’ pizzas, well since the tomatoes finished anyway (although it seems I have half a freezer of tomato sauce to use up!) . The ricotta, lemon zest, chili and parsley base on this pizza complements the heavenly rich roasted garlic and thyme wild mushrooms. Incidentally don’t skip on the pre-roasting of the mushrooms; roasting gives them a much stronger, richer and somehow more meaty texture and flavour. Truly divine.
If you can’t forage or buy your own wild mushrooms choose some interesting shop bought ones, big or small. Ideally anything but the boring and bland button mushies anyway!.
I’m entering this blog to a couple of bloggie challenges. Firstly, as there’s a fair flavouring of herbs, to the lovely Herbs on Saturday challenge, the baby of Karen @ Lavender & Lovage, and this month hosted by Blue Kitchen Bakes.
Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza
Serves 1 – 2 (depending on your appetite for pizza!)
One quantity of pizza dough (I usually stick to a Jamie Oliver recipe, using part semolina flour when I can get it)
175g of wild or interesting shop bought mushrooms, wiped but not washed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
20g of butter
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
salt & freshly ground black pepper
120g of ricotta
zest of ½ a lemon, plus a little juice
½ a red chili (or a whole one if you prefer), seeds removed and finely sliced
a heaped tablespoon of finely chopped flat leaved parsley
a heaped tablespoon of finely grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil to finish
Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC.
Start by roasting off your mushrooms. Tear or cut the mushrooms into large bite size pieces. Combine in a small baking dish with the olive oil, butter, thyme, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, giving everything a good move around half way through.
Meanwhile prepare the ricotta base. Mix together the ricotta, lemon zest, chili, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Once the mushrooms have roasted remove the garlic from the pan and finely slice. Add the garlic back to the mushrooms. Turn the oven temperature up to the hottest it will go and put your pizza stone or baking tray in to heat up.
Now for the pizza. Roll out your pizza dough to your desired size and thickness. I personally prefer mine very thin. Place on your hot pizza stone or baking tray.
Spread the ricotta evenly over the base. Scatter on the mushrooms and sliced garlic and sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Finally give the pizza a squeeze of lemon and a generous drizzling of some very good extra virgin olive oil OR if you’re lucky enough to have any (I’m not!) I’m pretty sure truffle oil would be sublime.
Place in your extremely hot oven and cook until crisp and golden. This could be anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes! Our woodfired bread/pizza oven usually takes less than 5 minutes.