Tuesday, September 22, 2009
MUSHROOM, ASIAGO, ROASTED GARLIC, AND THYME PIZZA
Eventually, I’m just going to end up cribbing Eggs on Sunday’s entire Pizza category. I can’t help myself! There’s so much variety, and all the kinds I’ve tried have been seriously good. Left to my own devices, I’d just be throwing some tomato sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, sausage, and mozzarella on there and calling it a day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but considering that I make pizza once a week, I feel the need to branch out. And I’m OK at improvising every now and then, but with pizza, the possibilities are so endless that I tend to get overwhelmed and would prefer to seek guidance from a recipe so my little head doesn’t spin too much.
Mushrooms are my #1 default pizza topping, so I knew I had to try this one. It’s simple, but with the big, bold flavors of pungent asiago and sweet roasted garlic (mmm…gaaaarlic…) The flavors pair fabulously, and it’s easy to throw together (for weeknight-cooking ease, I roasted the garlic the night before and kept it in a sealed container in the fridge until I was ready to make the pizza). The only thing I’d change would be to use more mushrooms—I suspect my pizza was larger than the one in the original recipe, and although 1 cup seemed to provide plenty of mushroom coverage at first, I’d forgotten how much mushrooms shrink up once they cook, and in the end they looked a little meager. So next time, I’ll try a whole 8-ounce package. No such thing as too many mushrooms, right? In addition to amping up the flavor even more, I think it’ll help the moisture content—I know I overcooked my pizza a little, but even with the drizzle of olive oil it was a bit dry.
1 whole head of garlic
1 ball of pizza dough (1 pound)
1½ cups grated asiago cheese
1–2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (I like cremini)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced tops of green onions (optional; I didn’t want to buy some just for this recipe, but if I’d happened to have some on hand, I would have used them)
1. To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the top ¼ inch off a whole head of garlic, so just the very tops of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle a little olive oil over the head of garlic, wrap it loosely in foil, and place the foil package in the oven for about 1 hour, until the cloves are soft. Squeeze the soft cloves out and roughly chop them. (Roasted garlic can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for several days.)
2. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Stretch out your ball of pizza dough and lay it out on a pizza peel or baking sheet that’s been generously dusted with cornmeal.
3. Layer the toppings as follows: grated asiago cheese, mushrooms, roasted garlic, thyme, and green onion slices. Drizzle the pizza with a little olive oil.
4. Bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown, about 8–10 minutes.
Time: 1½ hours
Leftover potential: Good.