Monday, October 20, 2014

Mushroom Pizza with Walnut Pesto

How to coax a Neapolitan-style vegan pizza pie from your home oven? If you have a great pizza dough recipe that works for you and cooks well in your home oven—great!  If you don’t, I recommend purchasing dough from your favorite pizzeria. Using premade pizza dough lets you have the take-out classic in your own kitchen and you get to customize the toppings to your own preference.  Since I don’t get on with vegan cheeses, I particularly enjoy this walnut-pesto version.
But then again, my husband would say that I like to toss a heap of fresh herbs into every dish.  If you love parsley as much as I do, I recommend sprinkling some fresh leaves on top of the pizza.  This sprinkle of freshness nicely compliments the earthiness of this dish.  Yay, for fall pizzas!

Mushroom Pizza

  • 6 cups (1.5 L) assorted Mushrooms;  sliced (we used Portobello and Crimini Mushrooms)
  • 4 Tbsps. of oil (vegetable oil of choice)
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) toasted Walnuts
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh Parsley;  stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon juice
  • a drizzle of Balsamic Reduction
  • a handful of fresh Parsley leaves (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 500 °F.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and they are tender.  This might take 10 to 15 minutes.  At 2 minutes, I recommend adding 1/2 cup of water to the mushrooms.  Remove the mushrooms from the heat and set aside.
  • In a  food processor, add the walnuts, parsley, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and 1 cup of the sautéed mushrooms and process until smooth.  You may have to stop once or twice in order to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  • Dust a large baking sheet with flour.  Roll out the dough and then press it evenly into the pan.
  • With a spatula, distribute a generous layer of pesto onto the pizza dough.
  • Then sprinkle the mushrooms over the pesto.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is risen and golden brown.  Let cool for 2 minutes before drizzling the pizza with balsamic reduction and tossing fresh parsley leaves on top.
       Nina & Spencer

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