It’s been a real challenge to stay inside and cook during daylight hours since the rains have passed and daylight savings is here. In order to capture the food in the best light, I use natural daylight coming in a kitchen window. Which means I better start cooking about four or five o’clock if I want to leave myself time to take photos while the food is fresh out of the oven. You see my dilemma? Garden or cook? Lately I’ve been choosing gardening as my evening activity…but today I chose to cook. I have been dreaming about these little mushroom “pizzas” since I made them for the first time last weekend. All the savory goodness of a pizza without the bloated feeling at the end. Now that’s a sign that you’re eating right for your body…if you don’t feel like the pillsbury dough boy after you’ve finished your last bite.
Here is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in the garden. This bed has beets, carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and onions. To keep the squirrels and birds out, Matt and I built row covers made from PVC. Finally gophers aren’t a problem anymore since we rebuilt the beds in January with a protective barrier. This year we refuse to give up our harvest to the local wildlife!
We planted corn a few weeks ago. The really tall one is not a super strain of corn…It’s just a volunteer bulb.
Tomatoes are in the ground! We have 5 varieties and 11 plants…way more than two people can eat. The plan is to can, freeze, sun dry or give away the abundance. I generally do not buy fresh tomatoes from the grocer during winter so I’m reeealllly looking forward to fresh salsa, caprese salad, and plucking and eating sungold cherry tomatoes from the vine. Nature’s candy.
Alright. Enough dreaming about the summer. Let’s make pizza. Here’s a snapshot of the main ingredients:
Prep your veggies first and the whole experience will go much smoother. So often I try to chop as I go and I work myself in a tizzy. Don’t be in a hurry. Meal time is sacred. You can practice some deep breathing while you dice the leeks, onion and rainbow chard. Or you can take a moment to ask your kids or your partner how their day was and listen while you chop. Meal prep doesn’t need to be dreaded.
Saute these with the chopped portabello mushroom stems. Add seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
Once that has cooked down, about 6-8 minutes, add the remainder of the chard (the leaves), canned tomato, olives, and parsley. Cook for an additional minute or two. Don’t forget to taste your food as you cook. Does it need more salt? More spice? Recipes are guidelines, not rules. Substitute if you want. Build this to suit your specs.
Now set your filling aside. Rub the mushroom caps with a little olive or grapeseed oil. Lay them topside down on a baking sheet and spoon the filling into the mushroom. Don’t heap too much or the cheese will fall off. That would suck. Let’s face it, what’s a pizza without the cheese?
Crumble the feta on top and bake for 12-15 minutes. I like to use feta because it’s easy to digest and it stays on the pizza. If you like a gooey, melty cheese, you can try mozzarella.
Okay, go! You got 12 minutes. What are you going to do? I took this photo of a butterfly-filled lilac in bloom while my pizza was baking. I told you it’s been a challenge to stay inside and cook.
Time is up. Pull your pizzetta out of the oven and sprinkle fresh parsley on top. Serve with olives and pepperoncinis on the side for mediterranean pizzazz. See how easy this is? Save the leftovers for lunch and you get several meals from one hour of cooking. And you only washed dishes once.