Portobello pizzas

    25 min

    Portobello mushrooms have a wide, flat cap that makes an innovative base for mini pizzas. For a fabulous first course, top the mushroom with a bean purée flavoured with fresh basil and Parmesan, then layer on shredded mozzarella and tomatoes.

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    Serves: 8 

    • 8 large portobello mushrooms, 55g (2oz) each, stalks removed
    • 1 can (about 400g) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 125ml (4fl oz) water
    • 25g (1oz) fresh basil, chopped
    • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
    • pepper to taste
    • 85g (3oz) reduced-fat mozzarella, coarsely grated
    • 3 large plum tomatoes, halved, deseeded and diced or slivered

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). With a spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills from the mushrooms. Coat a baking tray with cooking spray or use a teaspoon of olive oil. Place the mushrooms rounded side up in the tray. Cover with foil and bake for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove the mushrooms from the baking tray and drain, rounded side up, on kitchen paper. Leave the oven on.
    2. Meanwhile, combine the beans, water, basil, Parmesan and pepper in a medium bowl. Mash until smooth using a potato masher or large fork.
    3. Return the mushrooms, rounded side down, to the baking tray. Spoon the bean mixture into the mushroom hollows and bake for 5 minutes.
    4. Top with the mozzarella and tomatoes, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bean mixture is hot.

    Some more ideas

    *Use the bean filling to stuff 450g (1lb) portabellini or chestnut mushrooms, instead of the portobellos.
    *Try reduced-fat Cheddar in place of the mozzarella.
    *Kidney beans can be used instead of pinto beans.

    Health points

    *Beans are one of the highest-fibre foods you can consume. Try to buy canned beans packed without salt or sugar. If these are not available, rinse the beans well, to remove sodium, before using.
    *Fresh or dried basil is teeming with powerful antioxidants. In addition, flavonoid and terpene phytochemicals in basil are under review for their potential benefit in reducing cholesterol.

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