Giant portobello mushroom caps are the foundation for mini pizzas, packed with the same intense flavors as the standard pizza-parlor pie but minus the calories. Use a commercially prepared pesto for quick assembly of these pizzas. Serve with bread sticks and a tossed green salad, and end with an Italian gelato for dessert.
Preheat oven to 500F. Line baking sheet with foil, and spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Wipe mushroom caps clean, and remove stems. Chop stems, and place in mixing bowl. Using small spoon, gently scoop out black gills on underside of mushroom caps, and discard gills. Place mushrooms, cap side down, on foil-lined sheet.
Combine balsamic vinegar and pesto in small mixing bowl, and brush mixture on mushroom caps. Place in oven, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, combine in bowl 1 cup cheese, soy “pepperoni” slices, artichoke bottoms, chopped mushroom stems, olives, if using, and oregano, tossing to mix well. Remove mushrooms from oven, and, dividing mixture evenly, fill each cap. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over mushrooms.
Bake 7 to 10 minutes more, remove from oven and serve.
This newfangled pizza is loaded with wine- friendly foods, with the possible exception of the artichoke, which makes wine seem sweeter than it is. Use the strength of the other ingredients to offset the artichokes. The pesto, cheese, soy “pepperoni” and olives pack a lot of flavor and will pair nicely with a wine that has a bit of acidity, like an Italian Chianti Classico.