One thing that has brightened my produce shopping experience over the last few months has been chanterelle mushrooms. For a couple of months, I kept seeing a large bin chocked full of them at our local produce stand. Initially scared by a price of $7.99/pound, I quickly realized that I could get all the mushrooms I would need for some fun culinary experimentation for still less than $4– and what delicious experiments those have been!
The first time I bought some, we had them simply sautéed in butter with some chopped chives on steaks. Of course, those steaks were cooked over an open fire on a camping trip, making it extra special. Soon after that, I saw a recipe for gnocchi with a mix of mushrooms, including chanterelles, and crispy bacon. I obsessed over that gnocchi but having just made a gnocchi dish, I wanted to mix things up a little bit. Then it occurred to me: bacon and chanterelles on pizza.
So I topped a pizza crust with tomato sauce and to add some color (as well as some green vegetables, thereby making me feel less guilty about eliminating the effort of making a salad) I topped the sauce with fresh spinach. This was then layered with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, crisp pieces of bacon, and chopped chanterelles that had been sautéed in the rendered bacon fat with some garlic. After baking in the oven, I had crisp crust, sweetness from the sauce, and sweet and earthy mushrooms to pair with the salty bacon. I think I’ve discovered the perfect cold weather pizza topping combination!
- 4 pieces thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- olive oil
- 1 serving ready-made pizza dough
- 1.5 cups tomato sauce
- 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 8 oz chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
Cook the bacon in about 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess fat. Keeping about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan, add the chopped mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms are softened, about 6-7 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven with a pizza baking stone to 500 degrees F. Roll out dough to 16 inches in diameter. When oven is heated, take out baking stone and place dough on top of it. Top with sauce, spinach, cheese slices, bacon, and sautéed mushrooms. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and spotted brown and crust is cooked through.