A pleasing combination of earthy flavors from pantry, freezer, and fresh easy to have on hand ingredients makes for a satisfying vegetarian pizza for lunch or any time of the day.
I woke up craving pizza. Maybe it’s all the versions of pizza and bread people are posting on the internet while in lockdown, I’m not sure. But I was very happy to find that I had one gluten-free pizza dough ball from Trader Joe’s in the freezer. I took it out to let it thaw for a few hours so it would be ready in time for lunch, and then searched the pantry and fridge for toppings. A jar of San Marzano pizza sauce, check! Some wonderful grilled baby artichokes from Cucina & Amore, check! And in the cheese drawer, mozzarella to grate – check! I was in business. Fortunately, I also happened to have some beautiful baby shitake mushrooms and fresh parsley from my potted herb garden. (Though a jar or can of mushrooms drained and dried parsley would have worked well, too.) I wouldn’t even need to go to the store. I was set.
Working with gluten-free dough can be a little challenging, but after many attempts, I find dusting a piece of parchment paper with some gluten-free flour, rolling the dough in it, then setting another piece of parchment on top of the dough and using a rolling pin or pressing it out with my hands works best. Once I get it to about 1/4 inch thick, I cut the parchment paper around the edges into a circle or oval depending on how I’ve shaped it, and then pick the whole thing up to put it on a pizza pan or sheet pan, add my toppings, and stick it in the oven. Easy-peasy. If you are gluten-enabled, good for you – you have lots of options for dough – but we’ve found the same method might help you work with a thawed regular pizza dough, too. One more thing – I forgot I also had a can of sliced black mushrooms in the pantry, which I’ve used with this combination of toppings before and it is divine!
Earthy Pantry Pizza
- pizza pan, pizza stone, or sheet pan
- rolling pin or wine bottle
- Cheese grater or Microplane
- pizza cutter or knife
- 1 frozen pizza dough ball, thawed gluten-free or regular
- 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced or if baby size, cut in half or other mushroom(s) of choice
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or basil or oregano) or 1 tsp dried of each or combination
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed or 1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder
- 1 pinch red pepper fakes optional
- 1 cup marinated artichokes, halved grilled version preferred
- 1/2-3/4 cup pizza sauce of choice
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or more to your liking
- 1 can sliced black olives
- 1 tbsp gluten-free or regular flour
- 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper to taste
- Follow the instructions on your frozen pizza dough ball for thaw times and suggestions.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a shallow pan, warm a little of the olive oil over low heat.
- Add the mushrooms and stir occasionally, until they start to brown up a little.
- Add garlic, parsley or other herbs, a pinch of red pepper flakes if using, and a little more olive oil, if needed. Don't let the mushrooms get too wet. Let cook another 5 minutes. Turn off the burner.
- On a large countertop space place a piece of parchment 12-16" and dust with flour of choice.
- Take the thawed pizza dough ball and roll around on the floured surface to coat. Get some flour on your hands, too.
- Place a second piece of parchment on top and using a rolling pin or wine bottle or your hands, roll and push the dough out into desired shape.
- Tidy up the edges of the dough with your fingers, remove the top sheet, cut out the parchment around the pizza dough.
- Add an even layer tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese, followed by the mushrooms and herbs, artichokes and black olives.
- Brush a little olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt flakes around the edge.
- Add a dusting of grated Parmesan on top, if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pizza crust is golden brown and cheese and toppings have also started to brown a bit.
- Top with additional Parmesan, red pepper flakes or fresh ground pepper, if desired.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes, slice and devour!