For years I wouldn’t touch a mushroom if you paid me to. Any time I ever had one it was from a can and well, gross. All wet and funky – yeah totally wasn’t for me. Now my mom would cook with fresh mushroom all the time but I was UNBELIEVABLY picky and would pick out EVERYTHING yucky – onions, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes – anything yucky. It wasn’t until one night in college we had decided to go out for pizza after a frat party that I had my first real mushroom (though I’m sure in my younger years I may have ingested a few in dishes but not by choice – remember they were yucky!). Your truly did partake in some libations and like the rest of the crew, was starving. We went to our usual pizza place where you’d get this 20″ round pie that was $4 WITH a topping! The pizza was good and well it was cheap. And cheap beat out taste/quality in those days. As we were deciding what to get one it everyone wanted mushrooms but me. Cause again, most pizza shops at that time used canned stuff. So being a good sport I agreed to the shrooms knowing I could just pick them off. Plus any libations I consumed earlier would kill the taste. Well when they brought the pizza out and I made a face because the pepperoni looked normal but those darken little roundish things didn’t look like any mushroom I’d ever had. Well the pizza maker saw my face and asked me what was wrong. I said “What are those?” pointing at the round things on the pizza. He said “We only use fresh mushrooms here, none of that canned crap.” Hmmm…interesting. So I took my 2 slices (our equal allotment) and stared at the pizza. I nudged them with my fork (and they didn’t move… lol). Well hunger got the best of me and I decided to just bite down, shroom and all. It was initially a weird texture, meaty if you will and not rubbery like the canned ones. There wasn’t much flavor to it though it did absorb the pepperoni grease quite well.
The following weekend we decided to skip the parties and hit up the local movie theater. It was our 12th time seeing Dirty Dancing (yes I so dated myself right there) but hey there wasn’t much to do in this teeny college town and it was only $1. Again college = cheap fun and cheap food. On the walk back to our dorms we stopped and got another pizza. This time since libations didn’t play a part in the taste I could give a fair assessment of the fresh shrooms. We ordered the same thing – pepperoni and mushrooms. I took that first bite, almost hesitantly, gave it a few chews and yeah,, I was so into this fresh mushroom thing! Ever since that night I had a new respect and love for mushrooms.
As I got older and my love of food and ingredients soared, I experimented more and more with mushrooms. It wasn’t even so much as using them in recipes but even the different types out there. Now I’m not going to list the bajillion of types but I’ve yet to find one that I haven’t loved. Each of them having their own unique flavor profile.
One of the toughest things I find in creating recipes is making them so a wider audience can make it with little to no substitutions. Over the past 3 or so years the big push in the food industry is making items that are gluten free AND have it still taste amazing. I do my best when posting recipes to give gluten free options as well as diabetic friendly and low fat. However if it’s not listed in the recipe I have always urged people to contact me on here asking for help in changing it up to suit their dietary needs.
Now with this recipe whether you’re gluten free by choice or by ailment, if you’re vegetarian or a meat eater, you’re gonna love it! It’s so basic and simple and while it doesn’t have that pizza crust we’re all used to, it’s still equally delicious. It’s a healthier form of a pizza in my eyes. Plus with this, you can put whatever toppings you want on it. So yeah, if you want bacon and pepperoni – go for it. If you want onions and tomatoes – go for it. What about a garlic butter sauce with shrimp – invite me over, k?
These mushroom crust pizzas are great when you want something easy on the waistline but filling none the less. Nothing is worse than when you’re cutting back on your food and you’re left starving 30 minutes later. So when creating this recipe I wanted something with some meatiness to it. Something that would fill you up but not all a bajillion calories; something that would taste delicious but a wide audience could enjoy.
Now s you can see using the portabello mushroom cap, you get that thick and chewy crust. Something that’s going to hold up while baking and hold your topping. Now just like with traditional pizza, I wouldn’t exactly put a boat load of stuff on this thing and then expect it to hold up under the 47 pounds to toppings. Less is often more. With my version I went literally with what I had in the fridge – prosciutto and peppers. Please, don’t even get me started on cheese. I have an entire cheese drawer in my fridge. THAT’s how much I adore cheese!
Since I’ve been sick this past week or so with the flu and bronchitis I haven’t been able to work out. If figured since I couldn’t breath, working out like I normally do wouldn’t be wise considering breathing is a pretty big part of my routine. So that being said I paid more attention to the food I ate knowing full well I couldn’t work stuff off. Now my mushroom caps were large – about 4″ round and after I put my toppings on it, it was the perfect size for me. It filled me up, satisfied my hunger and left me feeling guiltless as I had a great pizza without all of the carbs and calories.
So tell me, what type of toppings would you put on yours?Print
- 4 large portabello mushroom caps, wiped cleaned and the gills removed
- 8 tablespoon pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded provolone
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 4 slices shaved Parmesan (about the size of your mushroom cap or slightly larger)
- 2 baby bell orange peppers, cut into rounds
- 4 slices prosciutto or pepperoni *can be left out to go meatless
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Olive oil mist
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
- Lay the mushroom caps stem side down.
- Mist the tops of the caps with olive oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and using tongs, gently flip the caps over, stem side up.
- Spoon 2 tablespoon of pizza sauce into each cap. You can add more if you like.
- Place the prosciutto on top of the sauce.
- Evenly divide the shredded cheeses over top the meat.
- Place the shaved Parmesan on top of the cheeses.
- Place some of the pepper rings on top followed by the oregano.
- Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheeses are all melted and the mushroom is tender but still slightly firm (you want this to be a crust that you can cut with a knife).
- Remove from the oven and serve.