meatless monday: portobello pizzas with tomato, basil, and pine nuts


If you’ve never tried a portobello mushroom pizza, DO.  They’re SO easy to make, and as much as I love pizza crust (who doesn’t?), portobello mushroom caps are super guilt-free and superbly tasty.

I had some free time on Sunday and made my own pizza sauce.  Not to be all “mine is delicious,” but seriously, it is.  Feel free to use basic store-bought pizza sauce if you’re in a pinch, but I promise you that my version is worth it if you’ve got some time.  The assembly time for these pizzas is so quick that I know you’ll have time to indulge some homemade sauce!

These pizzas are also great for folks on the low carb lifestyle.  Personally, I embrace the cautious-carb lifestyle as I become a mean person sans-carbs (not to mention someone who can NEVER run or do yoga, two of my favorite new things), so if you’ve overindulged over the weekend, this is the the perfect Meatless Monday for you!

Portobello Pizzas with Tomato, Basil, and Pine Nuts

two portobello mushroom caps

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup pizza sauce (see below for homemade version)

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp. fresh basil, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler (or oven to 475 degrees).  Remove stems and dark brown gill-like tissue from the mushrooms using a spoon to scrape it all out.  Brush mushroom caps on top and bottom with olive oil and place on a broiler pan. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes.  Take out caps and top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and pine nuts.  Broil for about 8 more minutes or until cheese begins to bubble and brown.  Take out of the broiler and add fresh basil.  Dig in with a knife and fork!  Serve with a big green salad.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

14 oz. tomato sauce (no salt added)

6 cloves fresh garlic

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 grinds cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Split garlic cloves in half, but leave in the paper.  Place in tin foil, top with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and create a sealed package.  Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, add tomato sauce, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.  Heat over medium heat.  When garlic is roasted, add to sauce and reduce heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Let sauce rest.  Sauce is best when refrigerated overnight, allowing the flavors to marry and become especially delicious.

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