Celebrating Mushrooms

I'm not sure that a week goes by without eating mushrooms in some form or other. One of my favourite mushroomy dishes is this Forestiere Sauce from Quick-Fix Vegan - it is so full of rich flavour. It's supposed to be served with seitan, but I'm not keen on the way seitan softens when you simmer it with a sauce, so I served my Forestiere Sauce with baked tofu instead. It would also be lovely spooned over a seitan cutlet just before serving.

I didn't follow the recipe to the letter, but my mushroom pies were inspired by these by the author of one of my favourite cookbooks, Caribbean Vegan. I served my little mushroom pies with grilled asparagus and an Italian lentil stew recipe from one of my other favourite cookbooks The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.

Mushroom pierogies served with dill sour cream. The pierogi dough recipe is from World Vegan Feast. I've also served these pierogies in a puddle of roasted beetroot soup topped with fried onions and sour cream.

Mushroom tart topped with grated Cheezly. Look how nicely my tart shell worked out!

Mushroom Pate on grainy toast topped with homemade tartar sauce. The pate recipe is from 1000 Vegan Recipes.

This omelette is my own recipe I've been experimenting with. I might post it on my blog soon. Here I've filled it with lovely fresh mushrooms that I've seared in a really hot cast iron pan. Topped with a blob of homemade aioli.

Pizza...Who Needs Cheese?

Browsing my folders of food photos I found a few of the many pizzas of my past, and a bonus shot of some focaccias. I don't buy a lot of vegan cheese, mainly because it's expensive, but also because there aren't many varieties I really like (I must dedicate a blog post to commercial vegan cheese soon!), but there are lots of other ways to make your pizza tasty and delicious that don't involve copious amounts of grated cheese...

For example, topping your pizza with creamy homemade aioli once it's out of the oven, as I have with this mushroom pizza with a cornmeal crust. My aioli recipe is here.

I topped this potato and roasted fennel pizza with generous spoonfuls of homemade pesto.

Another roasted fennel pizza that I topped with a cheesy cashew cream sauce before baking.

Here's another topped with cheesy sauce. I use a squeezy bottle for exceptional cheesy coverage!

Sometimes I replace the traditional tomato sauce with a base of roasted, pureed eggplant enriched with roasted garlic, olive oil and ground almonds - just as rich as cheese, and twice as delicious. A base of cheesy white sauce is particularly yummy topped with potato and artichoke. With this pizza below, I used homemade pesto as a base, and topped with a small amount of homemade melty cheese (cheese recipe here).

I have to say though, putting aside all of these cheese alternatives, one of my favourite pizzas is from a local cafe which is simplicity itself. Just beautifully cooked and seasoned vegetables on a thin, crispy base, and lashings of good quality olive oil. I never miss the cheese.

As promised, a bonus focaccia shot (pizza's delicious cousin!). I use a recipe from The Bread Bible which always works out a treat.