Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I made wild mushroom pizza with caramelized onions, fontina and rosemary

Yo. This pizza was the bomb.

We followed the recipe pretty exactly, except we used way less butter and made one big pizza with our store-bought whole wheat crust instead of a few little ones with homemade dough. (This kind of messed up the proportions, and our pizza was PILED WITH SHROOMS. But you can never have too many shrooms, in my humble opin.) Also discovered that fontina cheese is so freaking good on pizza! Gotta do that more often.

Wild Mushroom Pizza with Carmalized Onions, Fontina and Rosemary

  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided (You don't really need this much. Used a spoonful of Earth Balance combined with olive oil for the onions and the mushrooms.)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (Skipped this.)
  • 3 onions, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise (about 6 cups)
  • 2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, chanterelle, and stemmed shiitake), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

Pizza Dough (If you are less lazy than me)

  • Cornmeal (for dusting)
  • Garlic oil
  • 3 cups grated Fontina cheese (about 10 ounces)

  • Preparation

    Melt 3 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter with 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil in another heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and shallot. Sauté 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes. Add rosemary; season with salt and pepper.

    Position rack in bottom third of oven. Place heavy 17x11-inch baking sheet on rack (invert if rimmed). Preheat oven to 500°F at least 30 minutes before baking. Roll out 2 dough disks on lightly floured surface to 8-inch rounds, allowing dough to rest a few minutes if it springs back. Sprinkle another baking sheet (invert if rimmed) with cornmeal. Transfer 1 dough round to second baking sheet. Lightly brush dough with garlic oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Scatter 2 1/2 tablespoons onions over cheese. Scatter 1/2 cup mushrooms over onions. Sprinkle with salt.

    Position baking sheet with pizza at far edge of 1 side of hot baking sheet. Tilt sheet and pull back slowly, allowing pizza to slide onto hot sheet. Repeat with second dough disk, garlic oil, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and salt, and slide second pizza onto second half of hot baking sheet. Bake pizzas 6 minutes. Rotate pizzas half a turn. Bake until crust is deep brown, about 6 minutes longer. Using large spatula, carefully transfer pizzas to cutting board. Let rest 1 minute. Slice into wedges and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

    I made harira, the traditional soup of Morocco

    One of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants, Bedouin Tent in Beorum Hill, serves this kind of soup--a hearty, tomato based soup with lentils and chickpeas and a complex, savory but cinnamon-y flavor. As the weather's gotten colder, I've been in the mood to make soups and thought this was a good one to start the season.

    I did some research and looked at a bunch of recipes on the web. I learned that in Morocco, this soup is eaten for Iftar, the nightly traditional meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan. It's thickened with tadouira--a mixture of tomato paste, flour and cilantro. There are many variations--some include chicken, some lamb. The kind I'd had at Bedouin Tent was veggie, so I knew they had to be out there. Finally I found a few versions which were mainly lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, spices and vermicelli. And who doesn't like some noodles in their soup? I settled on this recipe and followed it pretty exactly.

    I am being completely honest with you all here: THIS WAS THE BEST SOUP EVER. Seriously guys. You will want to eat this soup ALL THE TIME. It's hearty and filling and noodle-y and tomato-y and lemony and cinnamon/spicy. One bite and you will be like, "Fall and winter: BRING IT ON."

    Harira Soup
    Serves 8



    • 1/2 cup green lentils
    • 1 Tbs. olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 cup vermicelli
    • Lemon wedges, for garnish

    • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
    • 1 Tbs. tomato paste


    1. To make Harira: Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain. (I did this but still don't understand why it was necesssary.)
    2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, parsley, cilantro, ginger, and cinnamon; sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes, and sauté 5 minutes more.
    3. Stir in broth, chickpeas, lentils, reserved tomato liquid, and 3 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
    4. To make Tadouira: Whisk flour with 1 cup water in bowl. Whisk in cilantro, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Stir Tadouira and vermicelli into Harira, and cook 3 minutes, or until noodles are soft. Serve with lemon wedges.