Black & White Pizza

August 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

When a mushroom forager came into the health food store where I work boasting about the trumpet mushrooms he had foraged that morning, I knew exactly what I was making for dinner. Last winter Shann & I tried black trumpet mushrooms as part of a venison entree he ordered at a favorite restaurant, Five Leaves, in Brooklyn, NY.  The black trumpets were unforgettable, so I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when these fantastical little delicacies were placed into my care.

Black trumpet mushrooms can not be grown at home in spores, but their wildness makes them all the more intriguing. Black trumpets thrive in a symbiotic relationship, enriching the roots of trees in their environment (as many mushrooms do) & when consumed, are one of the most abundant non-animal sources of the vitamin D.

Black trumpets with Thai basil flowers add an unexpected color scheme to the top of any pizza, crisonti, or salad.

Black trumpet mushrooms, also known as the Black Trumpet of Death or Black Chanterelles, are smokey flavored plumes with a light fruity fragrance. These mushrooms, according to the mushroom man, are the closest tasting mushroom to the infamous truffle, which must be pretty darn good based on the smooth flavor of the trumpets.  The mushrooms start off ashy gray in color, but morph into a deep charcoal black when cooked. Cooking is necessary, as is brushing off any organic matter, but I would not recommend washing them. If they get wet, then they end up too mushy.

Black & White Pizza

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast,  1 3/4 cup warm water,  3 cups whole wheat pastry flour,  1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp sea salt,  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil,  1 Tbsp dark honey

10 fingerling* potatoes, boiled & sliced into 1/4 thick coins or strips,  2 cups black trumpets (or other wild mushrooms),  6 Tbsp organic butter,  1 cup ricotta cheese,  1/2 white onion, sliced into thin rounds,  300 grams buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices,  1/4 cup lamb confit**,  2 Tbsp cornmeal,  2 Tbsp fresh basil flowers

*Any small potatoes work equally as well if fingerling potatoes are not on hand. **The con fit is not necessary if you do not have it on hand, but it with the mushrooms, it does make for quite a savory pizza.

  Mix yeast, honey, 3/4 cup of warm water & a 1/2 cup of all purpose flour in a large bowl. Once foamy, add 3 cups of pastry flour, the salt, olive oil & the rest the water (1 cup). Mix, then knead in the last cup of all purpose flour 1/4 cup at a time until smooth. Aim for a soft dough that is not too dry, but is not sticky either.

Cover the dough & let it rise for 2 hours or refrigerated overnight. When ready to use split the dough in half, this recipe makes two pizzas.

Preheat oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit at least 30 minutes before you are ready to use the oven. Put pizza stone into the oven to preheat it. Brown the butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan. Browning butter is all about waiting until it is slightly golden & gives off a nutty fragrance. This should take no more than 3-5 minutes if the pan is warm. Add the mushrooms & cook for  5-7 minutes, or until they darken. Remove the brown butter & mushrooms from the heat until ready to use (this is important or the mushrooms WILL burn).

Sprinkle cornmeal on the heated stone. Using your fingers to press the dough to spread it out over the whole stone. Add ricotta, spreading to cover dough, add onions, potatoes, mushrooms & con fit. Bake for 15 minutes until the bottom of the dough hardens slightly. Check the pizza after 5 minutes, you may need to tent the pizza with tin foil if the mushrooms look like they are drying out.

When the pizza is finished, top with basil flowers, arugula, or nasturtiums & serve.

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