Mushroom and Artichoke Pizza

I think pizza is the most amazing food.  First, what doesn’t taste good on bread?  Nothing.  Second, What doesn’t taste good on bread with cheese on top?  Nothing.  Third, Pizza is the best.  Fourth, I want pizza.  Fifth… I’ll stop now.
Want to know what else makes pizza the perfect food?  Everyone likes it!  You can have pizza in it’s purest form, with cheese only, or you can add truffles truffles with gold leaf truffles on top.  None of that is real, I don’t think, but you get the idea!  Pizza is the every-man food.

It’s also really simple to make.  If you have a kitchen bigger than a square foot, and any counter space at all, by all means make pizza dough from scratch.  Make it all the time!  You could be eating pizza right this very second.  If you are like me, and you don’t have any of those things, and the last time you made homemade dough, your kitchen and your hair looked like a hurricane just blew through, you can buy pizza dough pre-made at the deli counter of your grocery store.

For this round of pizza making, I decided on Mediterranean flavors.  First, I cleaned, trimmed, and roughly chopped one package of button mushrooms.
Then I sauteed those roughly chopped mushrooms until they were tender and set aside.
When the mushrooms were done cooking, I started building my pizza.  I spread the pre-made dough as thinly as possible on a baking sheet.
I used prepared pesto sauce as the base of the pizza to go along with the Mediterranean theme, and because I adore pesto.

And finished with some feta cheese crumbles and fresh torn basil.
I baked the pizza for 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven until the dough got golden brown and the cheese was all bubbly and delicious.
The dough wasn’t spread as thin as I would have liked, because it was pretty elastic and kept trying to get back to center (aren’t we all?) so this turned out to be more of a Sicilian style pizza, but because it’s still pizza, and pizza is the best, I wasn’t complaining.
The pizza was fresh tasting and salty in that Mediterranean-flavor way.  I loved the thin layer of pesto as a base so the toppings, and, let’s be honest, the cheese could really shine.  The dough had a good flavor, especially since I had no control over how it turned out.  Basically, this was pizza.  Pizza is perfect.  This is perfect.
And someday, when I’m all grown up, I’ll have a counter top where I can knead dough like a real cook and make delicious homemade pizza.  Until then, or until I find some ingenious way to turn one of my surfaces in this apartment into the perfect dough-making spacce, this is the next best thing.  And it was a really good thing.

Here’s the recipe:

Mushroom and Artichoke Pizza

1 package of whole button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
prepared pizza dough (either from the store or from your capable hands)
4 tablespoons of pesto (prepared from a bottle or from your capable, er, food processor)
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese
a few leaves of fresh basil, torn

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and saute chopped mushrooms for about 7 minutes, or until they are tender.  Season with pepper and red pepper flakes at the beginning of cooking, but don’t salt until they are almost done.  If you salt mushrooms at the beginning they will release their juices too early and you don’t want these too wet.

Spread prepared dough onto a non-stick baking pan as thinly as you’d like.  Spread the pesto over the entire surface of the dough.  Add mushrooms and artichokes.

Add the mozzarella cheese then the feta and torn basil.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and bubbly and the crust is golden brown.  Slice and enjoy!

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