If you've been following along, you know that I have been working on, and loving I might add, this new pizza recipe. The idea started from a magazine clipping I found in my old binder of recipes collected throughout college and grad school. However, I've added and edited and played around with so many ingredients since then that I can't actually remember what the original recipe was, other than the fact that it used thyme and goat cheese. Today I'm sharing with you the recipe results of many tests and tastes. While this recipe is how I like it best, you can make a variety of little ingredient changes and I bet it will still be wonderful! In fact, I alternate between two varieties and I want to share that quickly with you before diving into the recipe..
VARIETY #1: THICK CRUST
One way I make this, and actually the first way I ever tried it, is on Whole Foods fresh pizza dough that I roll out and use for my crust (I hear Trader Joe's has a fresh whole wheat pizza dough too that is really good). This version makes a thicker fluffier crust that yields a delicious pizza where the toppings kind of bake into the bread. Ahh, so, good! Not only is this option delicious but it can also be an easy way to get more calories and carbohydrates in your young growing athlete that has daily games and practices, depleted energy stores, and increased energy and nutrition needs. This option does take a little more time because you have to flour a surface and roll out the dough, but if time allows, I think it's absolutely worth it! And, because it has a thicker crust, you or your athlete can throw on more favorite toppings!
VARIETY #2: THIN CRUST
My second variety is made on the Trader Joe's already-made whole wheat pizza crust that you find in the bread aisle. I mostly like this version because of how quick and simple it is. Wednesday night I cooked this variety for some girlfriends. I got home around 6:00 p.m. and only had to focus on prepping the toppings. Once the girls were over, I assembled the pizza and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and it was done. I don't know about you, but that's my perfect idea of entertaining on a weeknight - a dish that everyone will enjoy and that allows you to be present with your company, not have to put all of your attention on cooking. This is the variety that I'm going to share with you today!
I always hear people say, "oh pizza is bad". Oiy, feels like a punch to the stomach. While, yes, some pizzas provide less fueling and health - promoting ingredients than others and when eaten too often, in too big of quantities over a long period of time can promote weight gain and other health concerns, I cannot say that pizza is "bad" and here is just one of my examples why. This pizza uses a whole wheat crust from Trader Joe's (or something similar), easy to make homemade blistered & crushed tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, soft crumbly goat cheese and fresh thyme. And, while this is one of my favorite flavor combos, it is just one example,. You can put any variety of your favorite veggies, cheeses and herbs and spices on here or throw in some chicken or lean ground beef if you want. A perfectly fueling & filling option if you ask me!
So, here you go, my Mushroom, Thyme and Goat Cheese Pizza..
Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza
1 Trader Joe's whole-wheat pizza crust
1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil (last 2 tsp optional)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
6 - 8 ounces of mushrooms (your choice - I love picking a variety!), chop larger ones but smaller ones can be left whole
1/2 of a medium white or red onion, sliced into half moons
4 to 6 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the broiler on high.
2. Line a medium-size rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
3. To a medium-size skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.
4. Add mushrooms to the heated skillet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until softened.
5. While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.
6. In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.
7. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst. Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.
8. Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.
9. Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler. Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.
10. Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.
11. Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
12. Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.
13. Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme. This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw. You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.
14. Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.
15. Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)
OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving. It adds a little pop of flavor!
16. I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad. Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing. Anything works!
17. Serve and enjoy!