Recipe Vegetarian Focaccia Pizza with Mushrooms

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Contains: Dairy, gluten, nightshades. Is: Vegetarian, quick & easy.

This is a quick and easy recipe, and not meant to be considered genuine continental Italian, but something to make on a busy workday evening, or the like. I used a good quality focaccia from a local bakery. I will note I thought I had mozzarella in the house, but no – so I ended up with ricotta. Not driving 35 minutes in one direction for ONE ingredient! (Not really a quick and easy idea…)

focaccia-pizza-full.jpg


I intend to make a pull-out-all-the-stops pizza by the end of summer. At that point, expect home-made dough, long-term simmered tomato sauce from (presumably) successfully home-grown tomatoes and basil — and so forth. Everything but the bona fide wood-fired pizza oven – as I don’t have one, and don’t plan on getting one. Even though my “stimulus check” arrived yesterday.

Meanwhile:

Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cook Time (for the quicker variant): 12-15 minutes.
Rest Time: Just long enough not to burn fingers.
Servings: Two.
Cuisine: Italian-inspired.
Leftovers: Yes. Recommended to re-heat in oven, NOT in the microwave.


Vegetarian Focaccia “Pizza” with Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

  • One good slab of focaccia, about 14 inches x 8 inches. Mine was frozen; thaw it.
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of diced tomatoes, drained (save the liquid for something else).
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano.
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • 1./4 teaspoon salt.
  • About 3 ounces ricotta cheese, the dry parts. Or, sub with dry mozzarella, sliced.
  • 3-4 slices of Pepper Jack cheese. You can sub with cheddar, or other.
  • 2-3 baby Bella mushrooms, depending on size, sliced. (Sub with button or shiitake.)
  • AND/OR any other toppings of your choice.
  • A little olive oil.
METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 450 F.

On a rack in a pan, lay down the focaccia.

In a bowl, mix the diced tomato chunks with the seasonings, keeping this chunky. Set aside. Alternatively, you can cook this in a small cooktop pot, for about 20 minutes so the tomatoes and spices may meld (in which case you may wish to add back some of the tomato juice you strained off, to keep this from drying out). I keep it chunky rather than making it a smooth tomato sauce. Your choice.

Layer the tomato and seasoning mixture out over the focaccia. I pushed it as close to the edge as possible. You don’t have to – I just don’t care much for pizza “bones”, those bare bits of crust on the outside of most pizzas. Tradition or not, I simply prefer to enjoy everything I cook to eat!

Layer the cheeses down, tearing up the sliced parts, and dotting around the surface of the tomato topping.

Add the mushrooms and any other toppings you desire. (If you use shiitake, sauté them briefly for 5 minutes or so first, in a little olive oil – and remove their stems).

Bake on a top rack for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts, and some light browning occurs.

Remove, cut in half for two servings, and serve immediately.

You may additionally top with more oregano, with red pepper flakes, grated Parmigiano.-Reggiano, etc. (Yes, even though this a quick recipe, DO use real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if at all remotely possible!)
 
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