Spicy Turkey Sausage Patties

by Anne Papina on February 6, 2013

What’s this? Another heart-healthy recipe? Why, yes! As much as I love decadent entrees and ooey-gooey desserts, it’s not practical to eat like that every day. Truth is, I love to eat as much as I love to cook, so keeping snacks such as these spicy turkey sausage patties on hand helps keep me in […]


Mom’s Homemade Sausage Mushroom Pizza

by Anne Papina on December 30, 2012

Sometimes these last two weeks of December feel like one long party. Heck, I think we may have been partying all month this year. Speaking of parties, one of my favorite treats during the holidays is my mom’s pizza. I’m not really sure why we save this for December as it’s good all year ’round, […]


Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

by Anne Papina on August 30, 2008

wow is this yummy! I found this recipe in a recent williams-sonoma catalog, and modified it slightly.  Pair it with a fresh tossed salad, a crusty loaf of bread, and perhaps a beaujolais wine, and you have a perfect summer meal. Enjoy! Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes   Save Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 35 […]


Pasta with Spicy Saugage and Pumpkin Sauce

by Anne Papina on March 13, 2001

I have to tell you — Nick Stellino is one of my favorite TV chefs. He has a charming style and makes the most complicated dishes seem relatively easy. I saw him prepare this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and needless to say, I couldn’t wait to try it myself. It’s really simple, and […]


The New Mushroom Toppers

by Anne Papina on October 10, 2000

Image: mushroom toppers(ARA) – Mushrooms, a popular topping, are a familiar sight at any pizzeria. Steakhouses offer sautéed mushrooms over steaks and, in a family restaurant, mushrooms might be an optional topper for baked potatoes. This kind of topper, plain and simple, couldn’t be nicer but it’s a far cry from the new jazzier toppers, which combine fresh mushrooms with cheese, seasonings and other flavorful ingredients in exciting ways.

These mushroom toppers are easy to whip up so there’s every reason to enjoy them at home. Melted Swiss and Mushroom Topper is a spirited combo with nutty Swiss cheese and tangy olives that’s worthy of any restaurant but very doable in a home kitchen. And, like any chef, you choose what goes under the topper. Mild-flavored fish fillets such as farm-raised catfish or poached chicken breast are great picks. Good-for-you veggies like steamed broccoli or green beans get a lot more interesting when they’re crowned with this mushroom topper. And it’s great over bruschetta made from slices of rustic country bread, toasted and rubbed lightly with raw garlic.

Mushroom and Country Sausage Topper is delightfully chunky, with fresh tomatoes and green onions added to the mix. As an all-in-one meal, it’s sensational, whether spooned over flaky baked potatoes, soft polenta or split, piping-hot biscuits. These toppers go with an astonishing variety of foods, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Rich in the savory quality known as umami or the “fifth taste,” mushrooms have the power to transform the flavor of other foods.

Leftover topper? Serve it on something different the next night. Here are the recipes:

The New Mushroom Toppers

Recipe Type: Side
Cuisine: American
Author: Anne Papina
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Contributed with permission by ARA Content.
  • Melted Swiss & Mushroom Topper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 8 ounces crimini and/or shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives (preferably imported)
  • Mushroom & Country Sausage Topper
  • 8 ounces pork sausage links (about 8), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (scallions)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Melted Swiss & Mushroom Topper
  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme and pepper; cook and stir until lightly browned and moisture evaporates, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, stir in cheese and olives. Season to taste with salt, if desired.
  2. To make bruschetta, brush four large slices of coarse-textured country bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Toast until crisp but only lightly browned. Rub slices with the cut sides of a split garlic clove.
Mushroom & Country Sausage Topper
  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and stir sausage pieces until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms; cook and stir until mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, green onions, salt and pepper; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.