Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ultimate White Pizza w/ Thyme Sherried Mushrooms, Basil and Almond Slivers

This is an amazing and meat free pizza full of taste and has a magnificent flavor profile.  This take on another classic Italian pizza's 'white' aspect is because there is no tomato sauce, but a garlic butter painted crust.   Three wonderful cheeses adorn this pie, including Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella.  The mushrooms are sautéed with fresh thyme and olive oil until browned and fragrant and hit with a splash of Sherry.  Fresh basil add aromatics and slivers of almonds add a light and slight crunch for a well rounded and filling dinner or lunch item.  Serve with a green salad to complete the affair.  This is definitely a keeper for the Meat-Free Monday Menu or any day you have a taste for something Italian, cheesy and delicious.
1 store bought fresh or pizza crust mix
8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. Mozzarella cheese
12-14 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. almond slivers
Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 450*F.

Prepare packaged crust if using, according to instructions and add 1 tsp. garlic powder to mix and drizzle in a little olive oil.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before using.
Place butter and garlic in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. 
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet, heat to medium high and drizzle with olive oil.
Add mushrooms and thyme sprigs and cook for several minutes, until they begin to brown and release their water, about 4 minutes.  SPST and cook for an additional 4 minutes and add a generous splash of Sherry.  Continue to cook until moisture evaporates and remove from heat, about 2 minutes more.
Remove thyme stems.
Spread dough into desired vessel and paint entire crust with the garlicky butter.  Use All.
Add Ricotta in 8 -1 tbsp. quenelles evenly around  dough.
Add Parmesan cheese.
Add mushrooms.
Add Mozzarella and finish with basil leaves.
Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with almond slivers and drizzle with olive oil.  SPST.
Makes 8 slices.

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