Whenever my best friend visits – which isn’t often enough if you ask me – we spend weeks before the visit brainstorming and debating what we should cook together. We both love to be in the kitchen and there is really nothing that we’d rather do when we’re together than cook. Oh, it’s not just cooking – we talk, laugh, bump into each other, make a gigantic mess and have the time of our lives while we’re cooking. And one of my favorite things about cooking with R is that we can do all of that stuff while we cook. You see, R actually knows how to cook. (In fact, she taught me.) So she doesn’t need to be supervised while she creates a delicious dish in my kitchen. She doesn’t need assignments and detailed instructions. Aside from questions like “Where do you keep the silicone spatulas?” R is blessedly self-directed in my kitchen (and I’m the same way in hers). It makes it easy to cook side-by-side. For instance, I’d love to claim credit for making this gorgeous flatbread, but I didn’t make it – R did. She made it at my kitchen island while I stood next to her, mixing up a pear and blackberry crisp with pecan topping. (My dessert went un-photographed, and hence un-blogged, but don’t worry – there will be other crisps this summer.) This flatbread was a last-minute menu item; we had been planning to make a gratin until R had one for dinner the previous night. So, instead, we went to Whole Foods and wandered around until the spirit moved us to make something resembling pizza. It just goes to prove that sometimes the last-minute items are the best. It was crispy and chewy, creamy from the mascarpone, and savory from the mushrooms and onions. Perfection, a la R.
Mushroom and Mascarpone Flatbread
1 ball store-bought pizza dough (or homemade, if you’re an overachiever)
extra-virgin olive oil
1 container gourmet mix or shiitake mushrooms
1 onion (or leek!), thinly sliced
pinch kosher salt
pinch minced fresh thyme
1 container mascarpone cheese
- Place a pizza stone in oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (or other temperature as called for by your pizza dough). Allow pizza stone to preheat for 20 minutes after the oven reaches 500 degrees.
- When stone is preheated, scatter a small handful of semolina flour over a pizza peel. Stretch pizza dough into a rough circle approximately the size of the pizza peel. Brush dough circle with olive oil. Using peel, transfer dough to oven and allow to cook approximately 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. (The precise time will depend on your oven and on how cold your dough was and how thinly you stretched it out – so just watch it. It may take less time; it may take more.) When dough is golden, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- While pizza dough is cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add mushrooms, season with kosher salt and saute until beginning to brown. Add onions and continue cooking until soft. When mushrooms and onions are completely cooked, remove from heat and stir in fresh thyme.
- When pizza dough has cooled slightly, spread mascarpone cheese over dough in a thin layer. Pour mushroom and onion mixture in a thin layer over cheese. Slice, garnish with additional thyme sprigs, and serve.
Source: Covered In Flour (and R!)