Skip the traditional pizza crust and use a mushroom instead! Yes, a mushroom! Portabello mushrooms have a wonderful flavor and texture and are perfect for this.
And here a couple things you might not know about portabello mushrooms. First, they are actually small brown mushrooms (criminis), picked a few days later. I love criminis and find it so cool that if left in the ground for more time, they turn into these huge, "meaty," treasures! And second, I've been told that one medium portabello mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice!
Both my boys love these — however, since I tend to cater to their oh so specific culinary wishes, I leave off the basil and use California olives instead of the Kalamatas. It's so easy to modify these so everyone's happy, and they're a quick, super delicious dinner!
- 3 whole, fully cooked chicken apple sausages*
- 6 portabello mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 small bunch fresh basil
- 6 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 dozen tear drop or cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
- 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Serves 4 to 6
Cut the sausages into about 10 slices each and coat a small saute pan with olive oil. Over medium heat, brown the sausage slices, about one minute per side. Set aside.
Wash, dry, and remove the stems from the mushrooms. Then use a small knife to scrape the gills out (only because they tend to be bitter.)
Cover a baking sheet with foil and generously coat it with olive oil. Dredge each mushroom in the oil and use your hands to ensure they are completely covered. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Use the back of a small spoon to spread a quarter teaspoon of garlic on the inside of each mushroom. Put the mushrooms round side up on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until nicely browned and until any moisture has evaporated, about 25 minutes. They should be turned over halfway through the roasting process.
Remove from the oven and then reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Place a few whole basil leaves on the inside of each mushroom, followed by one tablespoon of the tomato sauce. Add some of the cheese to each, saving a bit for the top. Then evenly divide the sausage slices, tomatoes, and olives among the pizzas. Top with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
*I happen to love the chicken apple sausages (available at Trader Joe's), but use your favorite (fully cooked) sausage.