Classic Cheese Pizza Gets a Veggie-Forward Twist

Tonight’s portobello “pizzas” feature all the Italian ingredients we love—tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil—but in a crisp and tender stuffed mushroom instead of on a pie. The mixed green salad on the side is tossed in a tangy Champagne vinegar and honey dressing, for a perfect sweet-and-savory balance. Buon appetito!

¼ cup walnuts
4 portobello mushrooms
1 clove garlic
¼ ounce basil, divided
½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
⅛ teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup tomato purée
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 packet honey
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces spring mix lettuce

You’ll Need
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg
kosher salt
black pepper
10″ medium pan
baking sheet

Recipe Tips
Scoop out the gills and stems of the portobellos as gently as possible, but don’t worry if they’re not perfect. The caps will be stuffed with delicious sauce and cheese.

Be sure to fully coat the inside and outside of the mushrooms with egg and breadcrumbs. This will make them extra-crisp in the oven, and perfect for stuffing.


Prepare Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Once hot (carefully hover your hand above, you’ll easily be able to feel if it’s hot!), add walnuts and toast, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, roughly chop, and set aside. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard portobello gills and stems (see Recipe Tip). Wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel, then pat very dry. Mince garlic. Rinse basil.

Prepare and Roast Portobellos:

Rub a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. In a large shallow bowl, whisk 1 egg. On a large plate, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Season with pepper and mix to combine. Working one at a time, dip portobellos in egg, coating all sides and inside cap (see Recipe Tip). Dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place portobellos on baking sheet scooped-side up and bake until crust is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Make Marinara Sauce:

While mushrooms roast, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan from walnuts over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and spice mix and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add tomato purée, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Season with .25 teaspoon salt and pepper. Tear basil leaves and stir half into sauce. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Make Dressing:

In a large bowl, whisk together Champagne vinegar, .5 packet honey, .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Whisking continuously, slowly add 2 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Set aside. Discard remaining honey.

Finish Portobello "Pizzas":

Once portobellos are lightly browned, remove from oven. Spoon marinara sauce into mushrooms and sprinkle over mozzarella. Return portobellos to oven and bake until cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse lettuce and pat dry.

Plate Portobello "Pizzas":

Add lettuce and walnuts to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Plate portobello “pizzas” and garnish with remaining torn basil. Serve with mixed green salad and dig in!


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