Niçoise Portabella Pizza

I am always on the lookout for a great meatless option and this Portabella Pizza recipe is delicious and filling. I make the dressing the day before to allow the flavors to meld, but making it ahead is not key. And yes, there are anchovies in the dressing, but really you cannot taste them; however, if you are really averse to mashing them in, just leave them out and season with a tad bit more salt.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, I prefer Pietra Santa's olive oil

  • 2 anchovy fillets, mashed with a fork

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes

  • 4 large portobella mushrooms, stems removed

  • Canola oil, for brushing

  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese

Method

Finely chop the garlic cloves and add some of the salt, mash to a paste with the side of your knife blade. Transfer the garlic paste to a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Fold in the anchovies, basil, olives, capers, and pepper flakes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature while you grill the vegetables.

Heat a grill to high heat. Brush the red and yellow peppers with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill (covered) until charred on all sides and soft—3-4 minutes per side. Remove the peppers to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let steam for 15 minutes (alternatively, you can char the peppers on the open flame of your gas cook top).

Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a grill basket and grill (covered), tossing occasionally until charred in spots and softened—about 5 minutes. Set aside. (Or roast tomatoes in a saute pan until the skins are blistered)

Brush the portobellas with canola oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides (covered) until a paring knife inserted in the center meets no resistance—3-5 minutes per side.

While the portobellas are cooking, peel, seed, and thinly slice the peppers. If cooking without a grill, you can heat a non-stick pan and cook the mushrooms in the same manner, it will take about 10 minutes for the mushrooms to be fully cooked.

Turn the portobellas gill-side up and top each with some of the goat cheese. Grill (covered) until the cheese softens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and top each mushroom with some tomatoes and peppers. Spoon a generous amount of dressing over each "pizza" and serve warm.

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