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Mushroom Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Rosemary



There are a number of ways to make a mushroom pizza.  In this recipe I use caramelized onions, a mixture of mushrooms (wild mushrooms, if available, but any mixture will work just fine) and fontina or taleagio cheese. You could also just make a basic tomato and cheese pizza and add some sauteed mushrooms on top, perhaps with a few  spoons of pesto or some Prosciutto di Parma.  One of my favorites is a portobello mushroom, mushroom puree and fontina cheese pizza by Todd English.  You can find the recipe for this pizza in his book “The Figs Table: More Than 100 Recipes for Pizzas, Pastas, Salads, and Desserts”, along with a number of other great pizza recipes.  


The mushroom pizza recipe for the party is:

(Makes 2 10 inch pizzas, each serving 2 to 3 people)

2 round disks of dough (see basic pizza dough recipe)
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons of  unsalted butter (I like to use butter with a small amount of olive oil to caramelize onions, but you can use less butter, or olive oil alone)
    extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of assorted mushrooms cleaned and sliced or torn. (wild mushrooms,if available, but go with what you like)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of minced shallots
1 cup of dry white wine
approximately 3/4 pounds of cheese, shredded (I like italian fontina or taleggio, but a mixture of mozzarella, with either fontina or asiago, or both works well too)
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
fresh rosemary, approximately 2 tablespoons, minced.
salt and pepper

Place a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat at the highest setting (500 degrees F) for 45 to 60 minutes.

While the oven is preheating, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, with a pinch of salt,  and saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  It is important to watch the heat because you want to sweat the onions (they will turn soft and opaque) before caramelizing them.  The onions should be ready in about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool until ready to use.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another heavy skillet large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer over medium heat.  Add 1/2 the garlic and the shallots and saute for about one minute. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and simmer, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed by the mushrooms, approximately 10 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the fresh rosemary.  Let cool until ready to use.

Shape the dough into a round disk as outlined in the basic dough recipe.  The dough should be thin in the middle with a slightly hither edge.

Dust a pizza peel or sheet pan with flour and place the flattened pizza dough on the peel.  Lightly brush some olive oil on the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Scatter 1/4 of the minced garlic  on top of the oil.  Lightly sprinkle approximately 1/2 cup of fontina (or cheese of your choice)on the dough.  Scatter approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons of the caramelized onions over the cheese, and lightly scatter approximately 1/2 cup of mushrooms over the onions.  
Top with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Slide the pizza from the peel onto the stone (it is a good idea to gently shake the peel first to make sure the pizza is not sticking) and bake until the crust (top and bottom) is golden brown, crisp, and slightly charred on the edges.  The cheese should be bubbling and just starting to caramelize.  

The pizza will be ready in 7 to 10 minutes.  But it depends on the temperature of your oven. I generally check the pizza after 3 or 4 minutes and rotate it on the stone.  You will quickly determine the best time for your pizza in your oven.

Remove the pizza from the oven, let it rest for a minute slice and serve.  You might also like to add some thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma right after you take the pizza from the oven.
Repeat the process for the second pizza.