food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

roasted mushroom flatbread pizzaYou may be glad to know I’ve calmed down from my mini Big Food/Big Pharma rant of last week. I got seriously close to popping a vein. I’m just glad I didn’t think of taking my blood pressure at the time of writing.

I was a bit worked up, but once my post was edited for public consumption (removal of a few ‘bloodys’ and possibly something close to libellous), I took a deep breath and just made a pizza. This pizza. Actually many pizzas, and much garlic sauce. Grassy, amber olive oil and pungent, sassy garlic – whose magical properties some drug companies like to sell us in yucky, boring pill form – dolloped over equally magical mushrooms, roasted with za’atar and topped with garden chives. All on a crisped flatbread, golden-edged from yet more olive oil. Whose mood wouldn’t improve with that staring at you from a plate? Perhaps not the boss of a big pharmaceutical company, but they’ve got their fat pay checks to cheer them. lemony garlic sauce with flatbread pizzaMy family don’t mind if I get worked up as it often results in me storming into the kitchen in an indignant rage, bashing about until something emerges from the oven. Rarely a cake. Cakes need to be made in good temper and good cheer. But pizzas, or anything requiring a lot of chopping, are perfect for indignant rage. Or not. You certainly don’t have to be in a foul mood to make pizza, but rolling dough (which you don’t have to do for this, btw) and chopping things is such a good tonic to stress and upset. Eating the result, even more so. 

And it seems I was treating my undoubted spike of blood pressure as well: extra virgin olive oil and garlic (especially just crushed and raw like this) are, of course, good for lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. So much more delicious and cost-effective than yet another damn pill.

Do you head for the kitchen when you are stressed or upset? What do you make? Does it help?

roasted mushroom flatbread pizza

Middle Eastern Roasted Mushroom Flatbread Pizzas with Lemony Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I’ve used a combination of chestnut mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms in this simple, herby recipe, but use whatever kind you have or like.  Although the amount of mushrooms is up to you, please bear in mind that the mushrooms do shrink quite a bit when roasted, so don’t skimp on them.  Also, you can save some calories by using oil spray on the mushrooms – they are a bit drier as a result but once you drizzle over the garlic sauce it all plumps up.

One pizza will do for two as a snacky meal with salad, but you might like to make one each if you are particularly hungry or active. Btw, the garlic sauce is bloody fantastic so make more if you like and use it as a dip or drizzle for vegetables, protein – anything but dessert!

2 baked soft flatbreads – about 26cm/10 inches diameter, or thereabouts *

400g (just under 1 lb) mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped or broken up

1 tbsp (+) olive oil OR oil spray

1 ½ tbsp za’atar spice mix (but Steenbergs and Moon Valley are great UK brands) OR 1 tsp lemon juice (to sub for sumac), ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried marjoram, ½ tsp dried oregano, pinch salt, 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Chives or other herbs, such as oregano, to decorate

lemony garlic sauceLemony Garlic sauce

6-8 fat cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled

½ tsp salt

80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Juice 1 small lemon (about 3 tbsp)

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

2. Mix the oil with the za’atar and toss into the chopped mushrooms. Or spray the mushrooms with oil spray and toss through the za’atar. Pour the mushrooms onto two baking trays and roast for 10 minutes.

3. While the mushrooms are roasting, gather the sauce ingredients and blend them until smooth in a mini food processor, or use a hand blender.

roasted mushroom flatbread pizza

going back in the oven for crisping

4. Take the flatbreads and cut them into even slices, pizza-style. Once the mushrooms are cooked and hopefully still quite juicy, divide them among the slices, drizzle a little oil on the outer edges of the flatbread and pop the pizzas back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes, or until the bread is slightly toasted and ‘pick-upable’.

Serve with scattered herbs, salad and a jug of the lemony garlic sauce.

*Arabic style preferred but any soft flatbreads will do – tortillas will be too thin. Of course a recipe of homemade flatbread or pizza base would be perfect, in which case place cooked mushrooms (pre-roasted for five minutes) on the dough and bake as indicated with your flatbread/pizza recipe.

roasted mushroom flatbread pizza

Track of the week is an oldie but goodie from Scottish band OK Social Club, Gezelling. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this before as I really love it. Cheeky, sweet and honest. Love Raff’s voice so much.

56 thoughts on “Roasted Mushroom Flatbread Pizzas with Lemony Garlic Sauce

  1. Ha, yes I guess flatbread pizzas can have that comforting, calming effect. The lemon, garlic, and mushroom combo sounds amazing! I’m not sure that I have a go-to dish I like to make when I’m angry or frustrated. In fact, I’m usually better off meditating and doing my breathing exercises at that point because chopping with anger isn’t usually the safest option for me. 😉

    1. I know! But I think the knowledge that I have to be careful and slow things down helps calm me as well. It’s when I am in a tearing hurry getting things sorted for work (making the food) that I can come a cropper. Thank goodness for fingernails is all I can say!

      1. Yes, I would agree with that, when I’m not angry AND hurried, I feel safer. The structured, methodical focus in the kitchen is much like the focused attention we bring to the moment in meditation. And I don’t know about you, but I do much better alone in the kitchen, rather, it’s more relaxing for me that way.

  2. Melissa says:

    I find cooking very therapeutic. I remember the most anxious time of my life (while awaiting the results of a cancer scan) the only thing that worked for me was getting into the kitchen and chopping. I made a huge salad with lots of great stuff in it. I felt calmer and more focused afterward. Pizza looks great too!

    1. Your body was probably saying ‘nurture me’ with that salad chopping! It would have been so easy to do something less productive with that tension but you did something positive – and delicious. I hope you are well and not as stressed 🙂

      1. Melissa says:

        Thanks Kellie. I’m great now and I don’t think I have ever reached that level of tension since!

      2. That is great to hear. I hope you stay well in all respects. Good, real, food definitely helps

  3. Sally says:

    All bread making is therapeutic to me Kellie. My Polish grandma lived to a ripe old age and ate a clove of raw garlic a day – she passed on her love of it to me….so that sauce is heaven.

    1. We have been dipping and drizzling it like crazy. Perhaps not the most sociable of sauces but it is too good to worry about such things. Your grandmother certainly sounds like she knew what she was doing. 🙂

  4. So yummy, Now I will have to start growing my own mushrooms.

  5. It goes without saying that I like this doesn’t it?! I find my time in the kitchen very therapeutic, stripping leaves from coriander and parsley, or peeling endless garlic cloves, all proves to be as meditative and calming as a yoga class! 🙂

    1. I heard that peeling garlic cloves is Jamie O’s least favourite kitchen task. Over plucking a chicken or gutting something??! Anyway, I also find repetitive tasks are great for sorting and sifting problems, or mulling things over in my mind. Less wet that swimming, which is also another good meditative problem solver. Best done in my home state of Florida though 😉

      1. Ha ha! Nice to have the option!!
        For me it’s walking or cycling or cooking 🙂

  6. Ah Kellie I am with you on the Pharma rage. What a great recipe to soothe you from it. Zaatar of course makes most savoury things taste wonderful. I also like the lemony garlic sauce. a super comfort dish.

    1. Yes, I imagine you have a unique view/experience of Big Pharma. I also have at least a tangential link via my Dad’s previous work as a pharmacologist and toxicologist, where work/discoveries go up for patenting. He hates that bit (he’s an old hippy), but it is a part of life in research universities.

  7. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Kellie, I adore this recipe and wondered if you mind if I blog a version of it, with credits back to you! We visited a mushroom farm yesterday and I was looking for a good pizza type mushroom recipe. Please let me know, many thanks! : )

    1. Of course, Liz. I would be most honoured! Thanks for asking, but there was no need. I would always be happy with being associated with you 🙂

      1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

        Thank you kindly… you know I LOVE your work! Always. 🙂

  8. neonsugarc says:

    wow that looks absolutely amazing!

  9. I am not a mushroom girl, but pizza, garlic, olive oil, yes please! When I eat my feelings (or cook my feelings, as it were) they usually end up looking something like this. I’d eat nothing but pizza till the end of the world if I could! Also, I love love love the accessories you’ve got going on in this post! That plate! That sauce bowl! That spoon! Love!

    1. Hmm, so that’s why you don’t have mushrooms on your blog. I know they are a love (well maybe not love, love) or hate thing. Texture for some. Taste for others. Instead of mushrooms I have also done stir-fried chard (because I have lots in the garden) with and little steam-fried quails eggs (posh, I know!) and the garlic sauce pizza thing. AS for the plate – anthropologie; little jug thing – an art gallery; and the spoon is from a sweet set from a good friend (Niki, who’ve I’ve talked about with her great textiles). The spoon is silver and goes with some tiny knives, one saying food to glow! PS Hope this last push is not too stressful (is this final week?)

      1. I always thought mushrooms would be something I grew into liking as I have with so many other things (wine, broccoli, kale) and I’ve put genuine effort into trying to like them. I’ve tried different kinds of mushrooms, tried cooking them in different ways, and I just plain old don’t like them. I do make exceptions for enoki mushrooms, which I love, and a couple of the really delicate varieties in Asian cuisine, which I seem to tolerate. The husband is a mushroom lover, so many dishes in our house are made half mushroom, or with mushrooms on the side. And he’s a champ at eating all of the mushrooms I pick off of my plate 🙂

        I believe I had my meltdown on the weekend (just one in a whole year of juggling full time thesis with full time school, not so bad, right?) so this week has been calm. I’m in good shape to submit ahead of deadline.

      2. A single meltdown just proves your human! I have an inkling of how how relieved, happy and proud you will be by week’s end. How are you celebrating??

      3. Well I’ve still got to defend it next week! The husband and I will be celebrating with a bottle of wine we’ve had laying down for 6 years, and then I’ll be nipping over to London for a Champagne filled weekend with my sister.

      4. Such patience! We’ve never had the ability to lay down a nice bottle – so kudos for that. And a champagne weekend sounds just the thing to celebrate your huge achievement. Good luck with the defence Katie. You’ll nail it x

  10. Deena Kakaya says:

    I wrote and deleted a comment to you about three times and then thought, you know what I’m just gonna say it how it is.

    Last week I got some good news and I floated in the kitchen in relief and pride and made use of colour and crispness and fried stuff. When I am happy, I let go and then think about how I should nurture myself, because I am important. Red oxtail, green peas…you know all that.

    Today was full of emails that told me all that I didn’t want to hear and actually I thought, maybe they have a point. Bitter, but maybe it’s time to move on? So, disenchanted with it all I thumped out some chappati (so I’m with you on the bread thing) and made a very humble, unglamrous, definitely not fusion meal of okra curry and simple dhal. Basic. Does the job. Unfussy. Just is.

    Deep breaths! Now your pizza, I want that with some cosy socks and no gadgets or media. Apart from a good movie. Love the sauce, I really want to try that spiky stuff xx

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a bad day. It’s easy for me to say ‘tomorrow is another day’ but sometimes it is therapeutic to just ‘go under’, wallow a bit if needs be. Bash out some dough. Make something close to your roots, and heart. No thinking about being creative. A beautiful crispy colourful nurturing day is around the corner. You attract good things. It will come to you. In the meantime, I’m sending you positive, healthy and happy vibes to you and your lovely family xx I wish I could give you a big squeezy hug. None of that air kissing 🙂

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        Kellie, if there was a way to physically show you how well timed, hugely appreciated and totally affecting your message is I would love to show you. Through bleary eyes and swelling heart I am thanking you. Massive tight hugs back to you xxxx

      2. Aw sweetie, it is easy to say good things to you. You are strong, smart, talented and beautiful – inside and out. Your time WILL come. You are on the right road, I’m sure. But there are always obstacles. Anything worth having usually requires some heartache, sacrifice and not a few tears. I’m old enough to say this from experience, so don’t think I”m being cheesy 😉 Go sneak in and have a peek at your son sleeping. Best medicine for heartache and bad days xxx

      3. Deena Kakaya says:

        Isn’t it wonderful and incredible that we have a sense of each other and the joys and tribulations without having face to face contact?

        Can I thank you enough for all your kind words and those generous adjectives?

        I think I need to let go. Least for now.

        I’m always in awe of your strength of character, creativity, generosity and warm. Grateful isn’t the word. Much love xxxx

  11. Shruti says:

    Love mushrooms anytime! And it sounds awesome… Have to try making it this weekend… ❤

  12. Urvashi Roe says:

    On my ! That’s all xx

  13. Fantastic, will def give this a shot next week 🙂

  14. Susan says:

    Thanks for a great post Kellie. I missed your rant posts. I shall go back looking for them. I hope you’re feeling better now. I understand how and why one might get ranty about big food/big pharma. But this pizza and sauce looks amazing! It seems the perfect antidote to such yuckiness. Xo

  15. How wonderful it is to see so many people that find cooking and kitchening therapeutic. It is extremely meditative for me as well and I wish more Americans would get in their kitchens more often. Perhaps we would be a healthier country! Anyway, mushrooms are a favorite over here and that garlic lemony sauce looks to die for. Never had za’atar spice – thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Well, most Western countries are similar to the US in that the population doesn’t feel they have the time or knowledge to do real cooking. I find it bizarre that some food products will declare that once you have stirred together a few packets that you are serving a home cooked meal to your family. I do think that some people really have no idea what the difference is, and it is not their fault. I best not go on that rant though! If you like the sound of the za’atar spice, do look at my recipe – it is embedded deep into one of my early ones. Or, some place like William Sonoma will do you a ridiculously expensive but delicious pot. If you have the ingredients already it is the easiest thing in the world to make up and keep in the spice cupboard. I use za’atar throughout the week to liven things up without making them spicy.

  16. narf77 says:

    Always a good sign that the day is off to a good start when you are salivating and have already planned what you are going to make for your evening meal before 7am. Cheers for this scrumptious share. The flatbread is appealing but that sauce is pure genius and is going to be slathered all over steamed veggies, baked potatoes, all KINDS of things here…YUM 🙂

    1. You will LOVE this sauce, Fran. My daughter would put it on everything if she could. And it’s a vegan sauce not involving nuts! I love nuts but can’t eat too many so this punchy number is so useful to me. Very useful if there is an outbreak of vampirism too

      1. narf77 says:

        AND a great sub for mayo, I reckon this would be heavenly poured over the top of a plate of steamed potatoes and sprinkled with fresh herbs. I just harvested some gorgeous new potatoes (Dutch Creams) and am going to make this heavenly sauce to do them justice. Cheers for the amazing share, I can always count on you for giving us quality scrumptious healthy recipes whenever you post 🙂

      2. I think we may have found you a new best food friend! Let me know when you make it and how you like it/use it. Those potatoes sound heavenly – Dutch Creams. Sounds like a naughty cookie!

      3. narf77 says:

        Dutch creams DO sound like a naughty cookie but they are dense creamy and yellow fleshed. We grow lots of lovely spuds here in Tassie as we have the best growing conditions for them. Our “Pink eyes” are your equivalent of Jersey Royals in season. I am heading into the city today to find lemons so that I can make this scrumptious sauce…haven’t stopped thinking about it…I have it bad! 😉

      4. I hope you are going into town for something other than lemons or I will feel terribly guilty! I do hope you enjoy the lemon garlic as much as we do, Fran. Had some Jersey Royals just the other day – just steamed and with pepper

      5. narf77 says:

        Lemons, 2 jute rugs, an industrial mop bucket and mop (the dogs point blank REFUSE to wipe their feet before they come into the house…) and a copy of “Sega Rally” for the Playstation 3 to keep Stevie-boy sweet along with a sweet potato, 2 avocado’s and 2 x 1kg bags of dried dates…you can dismiss your guilt as of now 😉

      6. No guilt. Only so if no one will kiss you afterwards!

      7. narf77 says:

        Who cares, so long as you get to eat this 🙂

  17. Hagen Reedy says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! SO glad I came upon your blog! Your pictures are gorgeous and I love the healthy lifestyle that you live…we have the same goals in our blogs and you have so many fabulous ideas! I will definitely be looking forward to your posts! Thanks!
    Hagen ~ http://runhappylivehungry.wordpress.com/

    1. Thanks for stopping by Hagen. I’m glad you found me and took the time to say hi.

  18. This pizza looks incredible. I love making my own pizzas, they are much healthier and more calorie friendly than anything I could buy. I definitely head to the kitchen any time I need a lift. Chopping and dropping veggies always calms me down. 🙂

  19. Really lovely. I’m a big mushroom fan so this is a winner. Looks superb.

  20. bcheeks says:

    Where do I get the spice mix from

    1. Hi, I should have a link in the ingredients to my recipe (it is embedded in a larger recipe). Otherwise, depending on where you are Moon Valley brand available at M & S or through Ottolenghi. Also, Steenbergs brand and others at farm shops and middle Eastern shops

  21. ericrynne says:

    I would have to say that BBQing is actually quite therapeutic for me. You get to be outside enjoying the day and hanging out (hopefully with some friends). Your pizza looks delicious! I will definitely have to try that garlic sauce. YUM!

    1. This pizza will cook very nicely on the bbq! A nice smoky edge

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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