I can’t believe I am saying this but one of my favorite foods is a fungus! You may or may not have guessed it, but it is a mushroom. Of course, I knew that mushrooms were considered a fungus, but it wasn’t until recently when I was talking to someone that it dawned on me. It is not a vegetable, nor a fruit. Not even a legume. It is straight up fungus. Well whatever it is, it is delicious.
There are several popular mushroom varieties. The most commonly known is probably the Portobella mushroom. These mushrooms are often used as a replacement for a burger, or any meat for that matter. These mushrooms deliver a meat-like texture and flavor. They can be grilled, broiled or roasted.
In grocery stores, both Baby Bellas (Crimini) and White mushrooms are often seen with the fresh produce. I always viewed these mushrooms similarly and easily used one in place of the other in salads. Aside from that, I didn’t use these mushrooms for much else. Truth is, they are different, and yield very different characteristics if used in the right manner.
Let’s start with the Baby Bellas. These are in fact a mini version of the Portobella. Baby Bellas have a similar meaty, hearty flavor that is perfect for blending with meats, to decrease the amount of meat you may be using in something like a burger. Further, Baby Bellas are commonly used for stuffing.
White mushrooms have a mild flavor that is perfect for salads. They are also perfect for use in dishes, such as stir-fry’s, as the flavor in these mushrooms intensifies as they are cooked.
Now, it’s time for the “fancy” mushrooms. Shiitake and Oyster. Shiitake mushrooms provide increased intensity in flavor when cooked as well. They are typically used in stir-fry’s, pasta or side dishes. The woodsy flavor pairs great with Asian recipes. Along those same lines, Oyster mushrooms also pair very well with Asian dishes. This mushroom provides a delicate flavor that is enhanced when cooked with onions and garlic. It can also be used in pasta and omelets.
- 1 refrigerated Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust
- 1 recipe of my own tomato sauce, or a can of your favorite sauce
- 1 8 oz bag of mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz Baby Bella mushrooms
- Prepare pizza dough according to package directions.
- Spread sauce on pizza dough. Top with cheese, then mushrooms.
- Bake pizza according to package directions.