Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mushroom Pizzettas with Reduced Balsamic | Friday Night Bites

Over the last couple days we FINALLY had our first real rain storm of the season.  The Bay Area has been extremely starved for rain and now we hopefully have the start of a good rainy season to prevent a drought come summer.  It is a funny thing, once it rains people forgot all the things they have learned about driving.  It is like they have driving amnesia. There are more accidents along with more bad drivers – it just amazes me while I commute to work each day.  Perhaps after this first rain, folks will adjust.  Smile.

With rain, the air is crisp and fresh smelling along with the hills begin to blossom with green foliage versus the dry brown landscape – that is a welcomed sight.  It is time to pull out the various boots for winter and put away my beloved sandals, unless the weather becomes mild enough, which we do have even in the winter months.  The nights have been quite chilly as of late and our fire place, albeit gas, has been on every night.  I am beginning to settle into the fact that fall and soon winter is here.  Oh and not too mention the holidays are quickly approaching. Are you enjoying the fall season?

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My official taste tester is my hubby and he is not afraid to tell me if something is not his favorite or on the other hand, if he absolutely loves it.  Lucky for me, I am batting about a 99% with him.  This week, I set out to create this appetizer that I have created in my head months ago and finally got around to making.  The end result was a simply, satisfying and quite tasty mini pizza of sorts along with a gourmet flair.  If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, then you can literally purchase every ingredient in one stop.  If you are not fortunate to have a Trader Joes’ nearby, don’t worry, your local market should have everything.

I adore a thin crust pizza over deep dish or thick crust pizza any day.  Many may disagree and that is perfectly okay.  My quick solution to creating a thin crust pizza at home is to use Lavash bread or flat bread.  It crisps up nicely and is easy to use.  I decided to use a round cookie cutter and make pizzettas. You can certainly create endless possibilities with your flavor profiles and your guests will think you spend hours creating them.

Mushroom Pizzettas with Reduced Balsamic

Makes 16

2 to 3 pieces of Lavash Bread
3.5 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms
8 oz. Crimini Mushrooms
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil + additional for brushing the Lavash Bread
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
1 Large Shallot, minced
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
1 Cup Grated Cheese Blend***
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, rough chop

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Clean and de-stem mushrooms and cut into small dices.  In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat.  Add the shallots and let cook for 2 minutes then add the mushrooms and cook on high heat until they begin to turn golden brown.  Quick toss in the salt and pepper along with the minced garlic and toss for one minute.  Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.

Use a 3 or 3.5 inch round cookie cutter and cut 16 rounds out of the lavash bread.  Brush each one with olive oil and place onto a cookie sheet.  Top each one with a tablespoon of the mushroom topping.  Put a tablespoon of the cheese blend on each one and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crispy around the edges and golden brown with bubbly cheese.

***I use the “Quattro Formaggio" shredded cheese blend from Trader Joe’s.  It that is not available, simply mix a combination of parmesan, asiago, fontina and provolone cheeses together or make a combination of just a few of those. Completely up to you.

To make the reduced balsamic, simply add the balsamic to a sauce pan and heat on medium until it reduces to a syrup consistency.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.  As it cools, it will begin to thicken.

After you remove from the oven, simply drizzle a bit of the reduced balsamic over each pizzetta and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.  Enjoy!


  1. I'd give anything to live in the Bay are this time of year! Rain beats snow, hands down. :D

    Love your pizzettas (and their adorable name!).

  2. Adorable pizzettas! I love anything with mushrooms and balsamic!

  3. Your hubby is such a lucky guy!!! You make the best food Lisa and these little pizzas look just delish! Love the ease of making these with Trader Joe's groceries 'thanks for sharing these yummy bites-wiah I was a taste tester ;)

  4. Oh I do love mushrooms, and these little pizzas are too cute. Enjoy the rain we get plenty here and if we get too much I get blue so I'm a fair weather girl, raised in So. Cal so not surprising :)

  5. These look beautiful and I know that they taste even better. We love mushrooms so I'm sure these would be winners with us too! Thank you for sharing them!

  6. So cute that you are batting 99% with your in house taste tester;) I can see why Lisa. These little pizzas look so tasty!
    And I totally hear you about the rain. I am so happy for you to get some water in the ground, but boy oh boy are the drivers bad. I won't even let my boy Otis ride his bike to school when it's raining.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can only imagine that it will be delicious!

  7. I love mushrooms, and these would be the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving. I have been searching for something small to serve. I don't have a TJ's near me (coming in 2014!!!), but I am sure I can find lavish bread somewhere else.

  8. I made these tonight. I used a fig balsamic and they were fabulous!


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