One of the truly great taste combinations is mushrooms and cheese, so it is a no-brainer to put them together on a pizza. What is not a no-brainer is making mushroom pesto to put on the pizza instead of tomato sauce. That is brilliant. Another brilliant thing is to roast the mushrooms in the oven before making them into pesto. How have I never roasted mushrooms before? The smells coming out of the oven while they were roasting were just incredible.
Once you’ve made your mushroom pesto, it’s pretty much up to you what else to add to the pizza. I added cheese and sautéed mushrooms (next time I will roast them too), plus bacon, because why not, and also spinach, because I needed something green on there to make me feel like I wasn’t just eating a mess of cheese, mushrooms and bacon. It was a good thing. Oh yeah, and I also made béchamel sauce to put on top of the mushroom pesto. This was a decadent pizza!
Roasted Mushroom Pesto for Pizza
Adapted from Foodology’s Mushroom and Fontina Pizza. Makes enough for two 6″-8″ pizzas, or one larger 12″ pizza.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. On a baking sheet lined with foil, place:
5 oz brown crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper (go easy on the salt as the cheese you add to the pizza will be salty too)
Bake for 5 minutes, then stir and add:
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Bake for another 10 minutes, stirring once more, until browned and crisp.
While the mushrooms are roasting, combine:
1/4 oz dried mushrooms (porcinis are suggested but I used dried, chopped shiitakes because they are less expensive!)
1/4 cup boiling water
Let the dried mushrooms soak.
Combine the roasted mushrooms, garlic cloves, and soaked mushrooms plus liquid in the bowl of a food processor along with:
1 tbsp chopped onion (red onion or shallot would be best)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or a heaping 1/2 tsp dried)
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
Blend to combine – it should still be slightly chunky (I over-blended).
Spread the pesto on rolled-out pizza dough (I used this one) and top it with whatever your little mushroom-loving heart desires – I recommend béchamel sauce, bacon, spinach, more mushrooms, and Fontina and parmesan cheeses. Just a suggestion. 😉
Bake the pizza in a very hot 500˚F oven for about 10 minutes, until golden browned and bubbly. Let the pizza rest for a few minutes before cutting.