Portobello Mushroom Pizza

This isn’t really side dish but rather a light summer supper or a lunch. My daughter, Lauren, loves these; she often takes them to school and reheats them in the microwave. These “pizzas” can be endlessly varied by adding cooked vegetables, pepperoni, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, or basically whatever you’d like on a pizza. Serve with a tossed salad.

Serves 4.

4 portobello mushroom caps
¼ cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Dried oregano or chopped fresh oregano leaves, to taste
Black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the caps, right side up, on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake until well roasted, about 25 minutes. Drain off any liquid.

3. Place the mushrooms stem side up, and place about 1 tablespoon pesto inside each mushroom. Top each with 2 tablespoons ricotta and 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, oregano, and black pepper. Serve immediately.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)