Mushroom Flatbread Est Arrivé

The holiday season doesn’t start for me when I see little human pumpkins and vampires begging for snickers bars. Nor does it start at the first mention of pumpkin pie, pumpkin mousse or any other pumpkin dessert mutation.

Oh no, for me the holiday season officially kicks off each year on the third Thursday in November when the Beaujolais Nouveau bottles of wine arrive from France. I look forward to this event with such giddy consistency: few things about the holidays are as guaranteed as the arrival of this wine.

It shows up without fail in the company of festive persimmons and unshelled pecans, prepared to usher you into the holidays, like it or not. (If you’re in the latter camp, I suggest you buy a few extra bottles, because the holidays are coming.)

It’s been said that Beaujolais Nouveau is boring, but I like to think that it’s a wine that breaks all rules. It’s meant to be drunk young, as in within 6 months, and once it’s gone, it’s gone until the following fall: which—I admit—makes it a little precious.

It’s fruity, best served slightly chilled, and would be a great counterpart to something like mushroom pizza. As for the non-Beaujolais believers out there, I recently heard that mushrooms make “cheaper” red wines taste better. I’m just sayin’.

Though that is not why I’m planning on pairing this wine with some leftover mushroom flatbread come Thursday. I recently found a fabulous thin crust recipe, made even crispier through a generous donation of olive oil. I’m nuts over this dough.

What’s more is that I was able to find some local shiitake mushrooms at the Siena Farms stand at the farmers’ market. Nevermind that they were 20 dollars a pound. They served their purpose brilliantly sautéed with some herbs and sauced with cognac atop my crispy flatbread, scattered among a trio of cheese. I really can’t think of a better welcome party for the 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau.

Though, there are plenty of Beaujolais-themed parties happening in Boston this Thursday, should you feel so inclined. The South End Formaggio is offering a free tasting of an organic Beaujolais Nouveau from a tiny farm. Even more locally for me, Pierrot Bistrot Francais is hosting an all you can drink event (could spell trouble) and 75 Chestnut is tapping their first keg of the season. The Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé, as the French say.

Be forewarned: you could be entering the beginnings of a dark, downward spiral if you start using wine as a touchstone for consistency in your life. Though if this does prove to be the case, saddle up next to me at the bar. I’ll be the one drinking the Beaujolais Nouveau.

Shiitake Mushroom and Swiss Flatbread

1 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp olive oil (depending on how much the mushrooms soak up)
About 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced and stems removed
2 shallots, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp cognac

1 thin crust dough (recipe follows)
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
About 1/4 pound fontina cheese
About 1/4 pound swiss cheese (such as Gruyere or Emmental)

Thin Crust Dough Recipe
Adapted from Nick Malgieri's cookbook Bake!
2.5 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan

To prepare dough, stir flour and salt together. Whisk yeast into warm water and add 1 tbsp oil. Combine yeast mixture with flour and stir with rubber spatula until dough is moistened; fold dough a few times to make it smoother. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat saute pan on medium-high and add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil to pan. Add mushrooms and shallots and stir until coated with oil. (Add additional olive oil as needed, if mushrooms appear dry). Add oregano and rosemary. Let mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes without stirring them, they will start to turn golden brown. Sprinkle with salt, add cognac, and let cook 2-5 minutes more until mushrooms are fully cooked. Set aside.

When dough has doubled in size, handle it with floured hands, folding it over upon itself until a smooth, seamless dough is facing towards you. At this stage, you can cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours. About 20 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 475 degrees. Generously oil a baking sheet pan and stretch dough to fit pan.

Toss parmesan cheese on dough (and drizzle with a little additional olive oil, if desired). Add mushrooms and shallots and cook in oven about 15 minutes. Add remaining cheeses and cook 10 minutes more or until bottom of crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes one flatbread or about 8 slices.

-This crust defies all logic and remains crispy even after being refrigerated.

-The flatbread would also be great with a little arugula salad on top of it.

-Beaujolais Nouveau is made from a gamay grape and comes from the Burgundy region of France. Burgundy also produces pinot noir, which would be a great pairing for this flatbread, as well.


  1. I love mushrooms and this flatbread looks amazing. Thanks for posting.

  2. That flatbread is amazing. Bravo to you on using the Beaujolais Nouveau. I think it will pair perfectly with the mushroom flatbread. Yum.

  3. Hmmm - this flatbread looks amazing! And like it woud make a great accompaniment to just about anything.

  4. This may just be my dinner tonight...

  5. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your writing. And I'll be hitting that Beaujolais Nouveau hard this season, bank account permitting. x

  6. mmm pinot noir and mushrooms. I have never had this said wine, but then I'm not much of a wine conisseur. It definitely sounds like it's worth a try.

  7. Yum... I am going to have to try the Beaujolais Nouveau.

  8. This flat bread sounds amazing!!! And with red wine? Yes, please!

  9. Happy Beaujolais Nouveau day everyone! May your day bring you lots of red wine and crispy flatbread and--as always--thanks for your thoughts and kind words!

    P.s. thankfully you can find varieties that don't break the bank (maybe $10? if memory serves) ... so happy shopping!

  10. There is no better combination than wine and mushrooms...or maybe just wine in a glass on its own :-)

  11. i don't drink much wine at all, but i can definitely agree that mushrooms seems to compliment red wine. or maybe it's vice versa. or maybe it goes both ways. :)

  12. That flatbread looks so scrumptious!