Pizza with mushrooms, spinach, tomatolets, and feta – 2 August 2011

I found this pizza on the net, in a search for pizzas with feta. We are out of bread (-> pizza) and we have too much leftover feta (-> feta) from Saturday. It was a pretty good pizza.

I started with a defrosted 1/3 recipe of my usual dough, with about 1/4 (?) whole wheat flour in the dough. I stretched the dough out to about 14 inches or so, which is impressive. I had used our garlic-moosher plate to moosh a large (very) clove of garlic, then poured in olive oil (not enough) and mixed it around a bit to make garlic oil. This sat for a bit, then I brushed it onto the uncooked dough with a new, softer brush I got today at the Bowl. It’s almost soft enough but not quite. I topped this with 2 oz grated mozzarella, then about 2-3 oz baby spinach leaves (washed and stemmed), then perhaps 6 thinly sliced white mushrooms (about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inch in diameter), then about 2/3 of a medium red onion, sliced very thin, and slices mostly separated, then a dozen pear tomatoes, halved lengthwise, and a few oz of French feta I got from Cheese Board last Friday. Here is what it looked like after cooking:

I was going to salt the tomatoes and add basil leaves before cooking, but I forgot. I cooked the pizza for 9 minutes at 500, and then salted the tomatoes and added the forgotten basil.

Since I usually pre-cook the dough for a minute and a half before loading it, I was unsure how I would do getting all this onto the pizza stone. It was a challenge. One thing I have learned: pizzas start hanging onto anything they get used to. If you want a pizza not to hang onto your pizza peel, don’t transfer it to the peel until immediately before you are going to put it into the oven. So I decorated the pizza entirely on a cutting board (well floured). When I shook the board and the pizza didn’t slide about, I got more nervous. Turns out I ended up having to stick my metal peel under the pizza to get it off the board, and then stick the wooden peel under the metal one. The wooden one is wide enough for a big pizza; the metal one is for the small oven and pizzas less then 10″ wide. I could have put more flour on the peel than I did, but it was not too hard to get the pizza onto the stone. I lost only two pieces of mushroom, which I retrieved from the stove floor with my grilling tongs – but not before they were quite overdone.

I think using more tomatoes and perhaps more feta would be good, but especially more tomatoes. The bites that included tomatoes got up there near the “sumptuous” line that we prefer to achieve, whereas the others did not. I can’t say I even tasted the spinach. However, for the most part what I tasted was the blend of flavors, and that was good.

D chose an old friendly Bordeaux – “Les Caves Joseph” – to go with this, and it was fine. 60% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon. Good TJ’s wine, and quite cheap at $4.99/bottle.

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