Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Balsamic soy wild mushroom pizza. Vegetarian foraged honey, oyster and velvet shank recipe.


When my husband and I lived in the Northeast, one of our favorite restaurants was The Continental. They have locations in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and the surrounding areas. The food is great, the atmosphere is retro, and they do awesome things with mixing and fusion cuisine.

Winter oyster mushrooms
One seasonal dish they make is a balsamic soy flatbread pizza with wild mushrooms. I've seen a lot of balsamic soy mushroom recipes, but something about theirs always stood out. Maybe it's the wild mushrooms or the quality of the aged balsamic, but the dish was really superior. Since then we have played around with a ton of variations, and they've all been good (my favorite is with hen-of-the-wood mushrooms!). This one uses honey, velvet foot, and wild oyster mushrooms - all foraged. 


I hope you like this recipe, it's one you can make with store-bought mushrooms if you like - try cremini, shiitake, or store-bought oysters or hen-of-the-woods.

The rich flavors of wild mushrooms and aged balsamic mean you don't have to go crazy with the cheese to still have a decadent pizza, keeping it low in fat and as healthy as pizza can be. Which isn't very healthy, but still. . . sometimes you just have to have pizza!


Velvet shank or velvet foot mushrooms, another winter species that makes a great pizza topping



Honey mushrooms from my large haul in the fall

Anyway, since then we've experimented a lot with the flavors, and I think with the addition of a bit more garlic, another tablespoon of aged balsamic and a shallot, we've really made a fantastic taste that's entirely our own. Using our own foraged wild mushrooms is a bonus!

Oyster and velvet foot mushrooms reconstituting.
My honey mushrooms were frozen and simply had to be thawed

If you're using dried mushrooms, you need to start by reconstituting them. Keep in mind that dried mushrooms expand to about 2.5 times their dried size. When I made this, both the velvet foot and the oysters were dried. I recommend reconstituting in warm (not hot!) water, with a heavy glug of soy sauce. Let the mushrooms soak for 40 mins to an hour, not much longer than 2 hours or they can get soggy.  Drain them, pressing lightly to remove excess moisture.

Balsamic soy wild mushroom pizza

This is a pretty heavily laden pizza, very filling. Feeds 4-6.

Pre-made pizza dough, your own or store-bought
3 cups mixed wild mushrooms, cut to about 1/2 pieces
1 large shallot, minced
6 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 bulbs garlic, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbs. aged balsamic
Olive oil or butter
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh herbs, optional (oregano, curly parsley and basil are my favorites)

Grease a baking sheet or pizza sheet with olive oil. Spread out the dough on it. Be careful not to over-handle. If you have difficulty spreading it, let the dough come to room temperature first. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425, or to the temperature needed by your pizza dough.

Heat 2 tbs. of olive oil or butter over medium heat, and add your minced shallot and garlic. Sauté until translucent and add the chopped mushrooms, sprinkle with salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid cooks off. Add a drizzle of olive oil or 1/2 tsp butter, increase heat to high, and brown the mushrooms.

Mushrooms with the soy balsamic glaze, all reduced and ready to put on the pizza

Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and aged balsamic to the pan. Decrease heat to medium-high   and simmer until all the liquid thickens to a glaze. Tear or cut the herbs, if using, and sprinkle over the pan.

ready for the oven


While the mushrooms are simmering, pre-bake your pizza dough according to directions. When pre-baking is complete, remove from the oven (don't turn your oven off!) and sprinkle with 2/3 of your mozzarella cheese. Dot the entire pizza with 1/2 scoops of ricotta.

Take your mushroom mix and cover your pie with it, evenly. You might have a little extra, it's ok, mound it up! Dot with a few more scoops of ricotta, and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake at 425 for about 7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Enjoy with a simple salad.



Looking to learn how to ID mushrooms like these?  Check out my posts on how to identify oyster mushrooms and honey mushrooms. Velvet foot ID to come soon!


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