Recipe: Pizza Potatoes over Sautéed Spinach
Summary: Baked potatoes are napped with chunky marinara and rest on a bed of garlicky spinach in a gluten-free, vegetarian dinner.
- 4 medium to large Idaho russet potatoes (organic preferred; choose size relative to your family’s appetite)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ a red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
- Pinch kosher or sea salt
- A few shakes crushed red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
- 1 cup jarred marinara sauce (or perhaps a bit more)
- 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
- 1 pound spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
- 1 garlic clove
- Garnish: Grated Parmesan cheese
- Scrub potatoes well and leave skin on. Pierce each potato once with a knife and weigh all potatoes. Microwave on high power (1100-watt oven) for 6-7 minutes per pound. (Your timing will depend on weight of potatoes you use.) Alternatively, you may bake the potatoes in a conventional oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
- While potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil. Sauté onion and bell pepper for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, Italian seasoning, fennel, salt and crushed red pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat and scrape vegetables into a mixing bowl. Don’t wash the skillet, but leave it for the final spinach step in this recipe.
- When potatoes are done, remove from the oven, wrap them in a tea towel together and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove from the towel and cut each potato in half vertically. With a spoon or tiny cookie scoop, carefully scoop out the potato innards into the bowl with the vegetables; make sure you leave enough potato attached to the skin so the shells stay intact.
- Add ½ cup marinara sauce to the vegetables in the bowl, and stir to combine the vegetables, potato innards and marinara. Using a spoon, scoop the mixture and spoon it back into the empty potato shells.
- Spoon remaining marinara sauce over the 8 now-stuffed potato halves, and top each with a pinch of shredded mozzarella. Place them back into the microwave and cook just long enough to heat through and melt the cheese. This may take only 20-30 seconds or so per potato, depending on how much they cooled off during preparation.
- Meanwhile, make the spinach bed. Reheat the skillet that you cooked the vegetables in (no need to wash it), and add the spinach (no need for any oil). Sauté for 1-3 minutes, until spinach is wilted down. Add garlic during the last minute. Using a tongs, place spinach in wide, flat bowls or plates, and spread it as a bed. Place one or two stuffed potato halves on each bed of spinach and serve!
- Offer grated Parmesan at the table for anyone who would like a sprinkle.
- Serves 4.
Recipe adapted from the blog Natural Noshing .
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Italian