A couple of weeks ago I put out a call for ideas on the blog Facebook page. Blogging is a bit weird because it can sometimes feel as if you’re in a bit of a bubble – it’s very supportive and communal but can also be very insular. I love visiting other blogs and seeing what fellow bloggers are featuring but sometimes I want to use the newest fun ingredient, while still trying to balance that out against ensuring recipes are accessible.
For instance, I know I tend to stock a decidedly Asian style pantry (ahem) but I try to make sure the ingredients are things you can find at any local Asian market if not your local supermarket. Trust me, while I have a ton of fun hunting down ingredients, I know not everyone wants or has the time to do the same. Although seriously, finding and stocking garam flour, zaa’tar, kaffir lime leaves, shichimi togarashi, kalamansi juice (super hard to find in Ohio but necessary to Filipino palates), etc. was totally worth it.
One of my Facebook friends noted that she’d like recipes that use mushrooms other than white ones.
Can I confess a secret? I think I’ve maybe used the standard white mushrooms once before (bad food blogger bad). I don’t have anything personal against them, but my go to shroom are baby bellas (aka criminis) since they offer a deeper flavor or shiitakes since they’re my personal fav.
Which also totally means I need to get out of this mushroom rut and start having fun with trumpets, cloud ears, enoki and chanterelles just to name a few.
This meal has the benefit of being super quick which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. Plus they’re infinitely customizable and perfect for clearing out those bits and pieces you have on hand. I kept it vegetarian with cannellini beans as the main filling (plus beans are so budget friendly!), but definitely use your favorite pizza toppings as you like, such as peppers, onions, pepperoni, sausage, etc. combined to make a total of 1 ½ cups. If you do go the veggie route, make sure whatever you use is finely diced so it fits well into the cap.
- 4 (4-inch) portobello caps
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan
- ¾ cup pizza sauce
- ¼ cup sliced fresh basil
- ½ tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
- 1 ½ cups or 16 oz can cooked cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat broiler. Pull/cut out thick stem. Remove gills from the undersides of mushrooms using a spoon; discard gills. Note: This can be frustrating, if you break some of the sides, no big, just try to get as much as the gills out as you can. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place caps smooth side up, spray with additional nonstick spray and season with ½ tsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, broil for 2 minutes. Flip caps, spray other side with additional cooking spray and season with another ½ tsp of Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper, broil another two minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, fresh basil, remaining 1 tsp Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Fold in cannellini beans and mix until combined. Evenly divide the filling between the mushroom caps. Spread about 3 Tbsp of pizza sauce over each cap and then sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil another 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with additional fresh basil if desired.
Instead of the white bean filling, feel free to use your 1 - 1.5 cups of your fav pizza toppings. Serve with a simple vegetable or salad on the side.