Prepare Herbal Pizza Combinations: Chicken Spinach Pizza with Fresh Basil and Thyme

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Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison

With hints of licorice, mint and clove, fresh basil brings pizzazz to everyday pizza. MAKES ONE 15- TO 16-INCH PIZZA

• 1 (15-ounce) prepared pizza dough
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips or bite-sized pieces
• 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
• 6 ounces baby spinach
• 3/4 to 1 cup prepared pizza sauce
• 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to fit a large non-stick baking pan or pizza screen; set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for several minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and mushrooms to a bowl, leaving juices in the pan. Add spinach and sauté until spinach is wilted. Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet with spinach and mix; set aside.

3. To make pizza, spread sauce over crust just up to the edges. Sprinkle both cheeses evenly over the sauce. Arrange chicken/mushroom/spinach mixture evenly over crust. Top with red onion, fresh basil and thyme. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden.

Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who wrangles her herb garden in western Oregon.

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