Vegan Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza

I love the pure splendour of the season; the burnished golden colours, the crunchy carpet of leaves that rustle beneath my feet each time I step outside, and the excitement I feel in finding a little cluster of edible mushrooms. I never tire of eating mushrooms, and know, new as I am to foraging for them, I will never tire of the hunt, either.  It’s not possible to become bored when there are so many varieties to choose from and so many ways to use them, nor is it possible to become bored searching for them in such splendid surroundings as the Dandenong Ranges offers.

It was on recent hunt for mushrooms that I thought up this recipe, for my lovely sister in law, who happens to be a vegan, but happily a mushroom lover like me. As my partner and I were walking through the forest that sprawls far and wide, across the road from our home, I had time to reflect on the season and what it might bring.

It’s hard not to feel excited when walking through a patch worked forest of blushed foliage. The colours in Autumn are truly beautiful and as we walk, duck and weave our way through the forest, I start to feel like a figure in a painting. The air is still and the colours seem amplified and muted at the same time. It makes me feel as if anything is possible. The freshness and fragrances in the crisp, clean, chilly air make me feel somehow younger and more alive, as if there is an old magic in the air, coming from the very trees themselves. So enthralled am I in my surroundings and in the search for mushrooms, that I forget I am supposed to be thinking up a recipe. After all, dinner is not so far away and stomachs need to be filled. So my mind turns back to food.

I could eat mushrooms every day and enjoy them with pretty much everything; with roasted chicken in a silky creamy sauce, simply grilled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt served alongside poached eggs, with smoked salmon and in salads. The list goes on and on. But in deciding what to make that is both vegan and showcases the mushroom at its best, I decide to cook up the mushrooms with some garlic, olive oil, a splash of red wine, and serve them with caramelised onions and a drizzling of garlic oil on a homemade pizza base spread with tomato jam.

Very simple, but very delicious. I happy to report that I received a very satisfied thumbs up from Isabel, who taste tested this recipe for me. It’s the first time I have attempted this pizza so I was a bit anxious as to how it might turn out. I need not have worried and am very happy to share this with you. I find the flavours are so full and bold that you do not even miss the lack of cheese. However, if you simply can’t eat pizza without it, a few blobs of soft-ripened goats cheese, with its balanced and tangy, yet creamy flavour, would suit this wonderfully.

I embrace Autumn and everything about it. I also embrace mushrooms. Particularly when they taste this good.  I hope you embrace this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did.

Love and light!

Susanna xo