Portobello and Kale Pesto Pizza

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I needed a vegetarian pizza that wasn’t plain cheese (boring!) for my friend who was coming over for dinner. Anytime we have company over I don’t like to make something that I haven’t made/tweaked/perfected; but I threw caution to the wind and made this amazing pizza. I found this recipe, (surprise, surprise!) on Pinterest! I immediately sent a text to her to see if she was up for it – thankfully she was game for anything! I love when I get to cook for people who aren’t picky 😉

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Verdict: This was seriously good! My friend said it was the best thing she’s ever eaten – maybe that’s just because she’s pregnant and super sweet, but I’ll take it 😉 The kale pesto has rich flavor and a garlicky bite, and the sautéed mushrooms are savory, meaty and absolutely perfect! It’s a new favorite for the both of us, and I’m sure we’ll enjoy this one again soon. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Portobello and Pesto Pizza – adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Pizza Dough –

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Topping –

  • 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 of an onion, sliced
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup kale pesto
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • grated parmesan cheese

Directions-

Pizza Dough –

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all of your ingredients, and stir until a loose dough forms. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and set the speed to 2, continue kneading adding more flour if necessary. You don’t want the dough to be too sticky, but a little tacky is good. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

After kneading is finished, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape it into a ball. Place the ball in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in volume – about an hour. Divide the dough into two pieces; you only need one ball for this recipe.

Mushroom Topping –

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms to the pan. Continue cooking until the veg is evenly browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook down for a few more minutes until the pan is mostly dry. Set aside.

To Assemble –

Place a pizza stone on a rack on the lowest part of your oven. Heat to 475 – 500 degrees.

Flatten your dough into a disk  until it’s as thin as you like it (I like mine around 1/4 inch, and about 12 -14 inches in diameter). Spread the pesto over the dough leaving about 1/2″ border uncovered. Sprinkle with cheese, then top with the mushroom  and onion mixture, and then top generously with more cheese. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing.

 

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Kale Pesto – adapted from Little Leopard Book

    • 4 cups kale (chopped)
    • 4 – 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
    • 1/4 cup cashews
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup parmesan

Directions –

Add the kale, garlic and cashews to a blender or food processor. Blend for 30 seconds. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil and water. Blend until all ingredients have been incorporated (30-60 seconds). Add the parmesan cheese and pulse for 5-10 seconds. Serve with pizza, pasta or your favorite dish.

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Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Goat Cheese (aka looks gross, but tastes good)

Quick Post: I assure you this tastes much better than it looks! I could not get a decent picture of this because it was raining the night I made it, so no natural light! I’m also not fond of my flash mode – blah! I’m a little embarrassed to show the picture because pictures “sell” recipes – but this one has  great flavor and I would make it again. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Goat Cheese –
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an oven-safe saute pan with olive oil or cooking spray and heat over medium-high.
  2. Using a pairing knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast, cutting as close as possible to the edges but taking care not to puncture all the way through.
  3. Mix the sun dried tomato pesto and goat cheese together in a small bowl then stuff each chicken breast generously with the mixture. I used toothpicks to secure the opening as much as possible.
  4. Season the tops with salt and pepper. Place top down in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until nicely seared.
  5. Flip chicken, remove from heat, and pop into the oven for 15 – 18 minutes to finish cooking through. Chicken is done when it reaches 160 degrees (*155 is good because of the carry over cooking*)

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Quick Post: This pesto has rich flavor and was perfect mixed in to goat cheese for stuffed chicken breasts. I plan on using this again in some pasta and probably tossed with some kind of mild white fish. I bet it would taste amazing spread onto a grilled chicken sandwich – I’ll have to try that too 🙂 I had just enough sun dried tomatoes left for this and the food processor makes this a breeze to whip up. Also, the recipe makes about two cups and keeps well in the fridge for up to six weeks according to the author. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto – adapted from Imafoodblog

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
An hour before you make this, soak your sun dried tomatoes in hot water for at least an hour. Drain and slice, set aside.

Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.

In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.

Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.

Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Burger”

M requested hamburgers, homemade buns and baked beans (with bacon, of course) for dinner…not health food by any stretch of the imagination! The other day, I saw portobello mushroom caps for sale at Publix which started the wheels turning in my brain…”what could I do with those?” I typed “portobello” in the TasteSpotting search for inspiration – it never fails me! There were several recipes for burgers using marinated caps, some topped with caramelized onions, others with pesto, brie or roasted red bell pepper. I combined a few different ideas to come up with what sounded good to me. Mine will have the roasted (on the grill) red bell pepper, pesto and some traditional burger toppings. I know the hubbs is going to look at me like I have a third eye or something, but I’m not making him eat it!;o)

Anyway, this meal was so tasty and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the beef. Portobello mushrooms are pretty hardy and it absorbed the marinade perfectly. I would definitely make this again, although I would be the only one eating them next time too. M hates mushrooms and bell peppers, so I don’t think I could pay him enough to try them. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Marinated Portobello Mushroom “Burger” – a Mom Makes Origional

  • 2 Portobello Mushroom caps, gills removed and brushed clean
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings –

  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 TBSP Arugula pesto
  • small handful of salad greens
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 split Parmesan cheese bun

Directions –

Place the mushroom caps in a zip top bag, mix all the remaining ingredients and pour over the caps. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Grill the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes a side add cheese half way through cooking time if desired.

Toast your bun, spread pesto on both sides, add a slice of beefsteak tomato, some salad greens, half a roasted bell pepper then top with your mushroom cap. Enjoy!

Arugula Pesto Ingredients – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced

Directions –

Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Cheese Burger Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 6 ounces lukewarm water
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 3/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7/8 ounce sugar
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese or the finely grated cheese of your choice
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional but good
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant
  • butter for brushing on top
  • *Use 3/4 teaspoon salt if you use cheese powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt if you use grated fresh cheese

Directions –
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, somewhat tacky dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container large enough to allow it to at least double in bulk, cover, and let it rise for about 60 to 70 minutes, till it’s just about doubled.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 8 pieces.

Round each piece into a smooth ball, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the balls to about 3″ diameter

Cover the buns and let them rise till they’ve expanded nicely, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush each bun with melted butter.

Bake the buns till they’re a light, golden brown, about 18 minutes.

Remove buns from oven, and brush with melted butter again. Place them on a rack to cool.

Yield – 8 big buns