Portobello “Bacon,” Grilled Pineapple and Candied Jalapeño Pizza
Plant-based, store-bought “bacon” is one of the rising vegan trends — and some genuinely look and taste a lot like the real thing. But you can make your own homemade mushroom bacon and achieve some similarly tasty results. Mushrooms bring unique umami action to the pizza party, and we’ve found that pre-cooking them to concentrate flavour and consolidate texture creates a meaty mouthfeel and an impressive bacon-y approximation.
We used portobello mushrooms because they’re large, flavourful and readily available, but shiitake and oyster mushrooms work just as well. Liquid smoke is the secret ingredient: Adding it enhances the natural umami inherent in mushrooms for a mouthwatering result. If you’re cooking with wood, you can choose to forgo the liquid smoke and use hickory chunks instead.
Grilled pineapple and candied jalapeños provide a sweet contrast that complements the rich mushroom bacon. While we prefer fresh pineapple — it’s tangier, firmer, and won’t add as much moisture to your pizza — canned can be used in a pinch. Candied jalapeños hit that perfect “swicy” note (that’s sweet and spicy), lending just a bit of briny, peppery heat and syrupy sweetness to the pizza.
All of those ingredients are layered on top of a simple tomato sauce and finished with a few dollops of creamy almond ricotta for even more of a twist on the classic. Almond ricotta is a delicious, plant-based alternative to traditional cheese, but feel free to substitute with plant-based mozzarella, cheddar, or cow’s milk cheese if you prefer.
1 hour total
Four 12-inch pizzas
4x 250-gram pizza dough ball
For the mushroom “bacon”
54 grams avocado oil
8 grams smoked paprika
2 dashes liquid smoke (optional)
40 grams maple syrup
30 grams apple cider vinegar
30 grams tamari or soy sauce (tamari packs more punch, but soy is easier to find)
5 grams sea salt
5 grams ground black pepper
4 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, sliced into ⅖-inch (1-centimeter) strips
extra avocado oil, for greasing
For the grilled pineapple slices
4 slices fresh (preferably) or tinned pineapple
For the toppings
400 grams pizza sauce
120 grams almond ricotta (homemade or store-bought)
8 to 12 slices candied jalapeños (2 to 4 per pizza)
chili oil, to taste (optional)
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think sourdough, neo-Neapolitan, or classic pizza dough would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven, aiming for 300°C to 350°C on the baking stone inside.
In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients for the mushroom bacon and mix well. Submerge the mushroom slices in the marinade to coat all sides. Set the coated slices aside on a drying rack or plate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Add a teaspoon of avocado oil to your grizzler plate and place it inside the pizza oven to preheat. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the hot plate and rest it on its board. Place as many slices on the griddles as you can without overlapping pieces, then put your grizzler back in the oven. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the pan 90 degrees every 2 minutes to ensure an even result.
When they’re done, the mushrooms should be a deep reddish brown, and should smell rich and smoky. Carefully remove your hot pan and place it back on its wooden board, then use tongs to flip the mushroom slices over. Let the residual heat finish cooking them outside the oven for 5 minutes.
Put the cooked “bacon” slices on a plate, and return your pan to the oven for a few minutes to heat again. Remove the pan, add the pineapple rounds and replace it in the oven for 5 minutes (or your desired degree of doneness). Take your pan out of the oven, flip the pineapple slices over (there should be beautiful sear marks from the griddle), and let them finish cooking on the residual heat of the pan (again, outside the oven). Once they’ve cooled slightly, remove the slices and cut each round into six equal chunks.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 450-500°C.
Place a pizza dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out to the edge with your fingers. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch-round base, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel. With a large spoon or ladle, add ¼ of the sauce in the center. Use the back of the spoon to spread the sauce evenly across the base, leaving an inch of space at the edge for the crust. Top with six slices of mushroom bacon, six grilled pineapple chunks, a few slices of candied jalapeños, and six teaspoon-sized dollops of almond ricotta.
Slide the pizza off the peel and into your Ooni pizza oven. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning the pizza every 20 seconds or so to ensure an even result. Remove the cooked pizza and top with a light drizzle of chile oil. Cut into six slices and serve right away!