I took Victoria, my bicycle, out for her first ride of the season last week since I had not ridden her for months. Last fall I stored her in a safe bike rack close to the door of my building’s underground parking lot. That way I was able to see her and wave to her as I drove out of the lot or could check on her from time to time over the winter.
Now that spring is here it was time to take her out for a tune up and cleaning so she will be ready for the season.
I will admit I was a little nervous that I had forgotten all that I learned last season. I wondered if I would be able to ride as well, or as far. Thankfully; I was fine. The feeling of freedom as we made our way down to the lake on the bike trails was invigorating. I had not lost my ability to ride and I felt alive and excited to be out with Victoria again.
I look forward to a new season of adventures on Toronto’s bike trails, parks and beaches.
I also look forward to being able to go to the local outdoor farmer’s markets again. There are a number of markets held across the city where local farmers bring their fresh produce, meats and cheeses each week. It is a wonderful treat to pick up some fresh vegetables and take them home for the evening meal. Many of the local farmers bring organic foods, which I prefer.
I adapted this Wild Mushroom Pizza from a few different recipes and a few of my own ideas. I hope you enjoy it.
1 tsp. sugar
1 package quick-rise yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cornmeal
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
2 cups thinly mixed wild mushrooms such as oyster, king oyster, enoki, cremini, and chanterelle
2 1/4 cups fontina cheese, diced
1½ cups fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 tsp. salt to yeast mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with cornmeal.
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place dough on prepared baking sheet and let rise 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°F.
While dough rises, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.
Sprinkle 1 cup of the fontina and ricotta evenly over dough, and arrange the mushroom mixture evenly over fontina. Sprinkle remaining fontina and Parmesan cheese evenly over top.
Bake at 475°F for 15 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.
Remove to cutting board, and season with sea salt and pepper.
Cut into slices. Serve immediately.