We have a new Featured Blogger in our midst and she’s combining two of our favorite things- Grilling and Pizza! Everyone say hello to Elle from Elle’s New England Kitchen!
Lately, my husband and I have been trying to cut meats mostly out of our diet. We’ve been doing surprisingly well! We have decided to keep one day a week to have meat. It can be whatever we choose. Last week, it was burgers, because we had last minute company and had some in the freezer. They were good.
Since we just celebrated a holiday weekend, we decided to smoke some beef ribs for our “one meat dinner per week thing.” They smelled amazingly good while smoking. They were delicious, too! But afterward, we realized we didn’t feel as good as we had been feeling. In fact, as tasty as they were, the meat didn’t sit well at all in our systems. Our bodies were loving the new, lighter way we’d been eating–lots of fresh, raw foods, and lighter, vegetarian meals–and they let us know about it!
Which brings me to the reason for this post. Portobello Mushrooms. They’re such a great substitution for meat, and they lend themselves so well to what you’re cooking. There are so many ways you can use them too!
I had four of them in the fridge that needed to go into something. I had a few ideas, but the one I kept coming back to was pizza. I’d been dying to try grilling pizza–and since it’s grilling season, we had no reason to put it off. In thinking of different ways to season the mushrooms, I remembered some Italian Sausage Seasoning I had. One of my all-time favorite street foods is a sausage and pepper sandwich. I’ll have one anytime (though my body might disagree now). So it was natural for me to equate the sandwich to pizza.
Grilling pizza is easy, but a little tricky at first. I think having a couple of pieces of dough for “test runs” is a good idea. They still taste great, but it may take a couple of tries to get them to look the way you want. At least, it did for us. And speaking of dough, we’re still looking for a favorite recipe. So for this recipe, we used a couple of dough balls from our local pizza joint, Sal’s. They sell them ready to go, and their crust tastes so, so good–it’s a quick, easy fix. You can also get the toppings ready ahead of time. I like to sauté them first, to get rid of the extra moisture in them. If you put them on the pizza raw, they tend to make your pizza soggy.
Grilled Portobello Pepper Pizza
4 large Portobello Mushroom caps, rinsed(Some say not to, but I rinse them just before using.) I also scrape out the gills underneath
1 teaspoon Italian sausage seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
Your favorite pizza dough
Thinly sliced provolone and mozzarella
Your favorite pizza sauce, but see the recipe we like below*
Rinse and dry the mushrooms, then slice them into strips, then into chunks. Toss them in a bowl with a little olive oil, the Italian sausage seasoning, and the fennel seeds. Sauté with the garlic in a little more oil until done to your liking, set aside.
In the same pan, heat some olive oil, and add the onions and peppers.
Sauté for about 5 minutes, add the garlic, and sauté for about 4 more minutes.
Add the vinegar, sauté for 1-2 more minutes, and set aside.
Now get all of your pizza things ready to go and head out to your grill. We used my friend Kat’s method as a guideline.
Basically, get your coals hot. Then take the dough that you’ve flattened out and shaped on lightly oiled foil. Put the dough–foil side up–on the grill, and carefully peel off the foil. Cook the dough for a couple of minutes, remove from grill, and place toppings on the grilled side of the dough.
Resist the urge to add too many toppings to grilled pizza. Return it to the grill and close the lid for 5 minutes or so, until it looks done.
That’s it! And I challenge even the meat lovers out there with this one. It’s a great way to make pizza. And something fun to do with family or friends. Everyone can choose the toppings they like and go from there. Get to know your friends, the mushrooms!
1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash red pepper, optional
Combine all ingredients.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 2 pizzas.