Monday, April 18, 2011

Polenta Crust Veggie Pizza

Saturday was a cold and windy day.  It was one of those days that makes you want to stay in your jammies, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket in front of the tv.  One of those days that makes you forget fresh green salads and spring fruit and yearn for good ol' fashion comfort food...with a twist. 
 
As much as I love a classic style pizza I decided I wanted to try making a pizza using a polenta crust as the base.  I have seen two types of polenta, one that is more like a cornmeal mush and one that will set up firmly and can be cut into slices.  For this pizza, I obviously chose the second method and got to work.  Now this pizza takes a little getting used to.  At first bite, you might be a bit surprised at the soft texture.  I found it was also very filling, even more so that regular pizza.  I will list the toppings I used, as well.  However, this crust would pair perfectly with any pizza topping that you fancy.
 
Polenta Crust Veggie Pizza 

Ingredients:
Crust
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. garlic salt 
Toppings 
1/2 c. pizza sauce
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
olive oil for cooking veggies
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles

Start by preparing your veggies.  Slice zucchini and squash into thin disks.  Now for the eggplant.  There are many ways to prepare eggplant but most people will agree you need to draw out the extra water, which also removes some of the bitterness of the plant.  I sprinkled each slice with salt and placed between layers of paper towel with a heavy baking sheet on top.  I left it sit like this until my crust was in the oven.  
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In medium saucepan, combine cornmeal and water.  Whisk until well blended.  Add milk and garlic salt.  Mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly (be sure you reach the bottom of the pan or mixture will start to stick).  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until mixture is very think, stirring frequently.

Side note: I like that my pots have clear lids so I can see what's going on in there!


Looks kinda like scrambled eggs when it's done.

Remove polenta from heat and use a rubber spatula to quickly spread onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat.  I tried to make mine as thin as possible since I knew it would be filling and that I still had to add toppings.

 
Bake for 10-15 minutes until polenta is set.  It will still be "soft" compared to regular pizza crust but it will be solid enough to cut through.  

In the meantime, cook your veggies.  Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a pan and add your slices of eggplant.  Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until eggplant softens.  Remove eggplant to more layers of paper towel to draw out excess olive oil.  Add more olive oil to your pan and cook up the zucchini and squash until soft.  
Spread 1/2 c. pizza sauce over your polenta crust and top with veggies and cheeses.  
 
I tried this sauce from Local Folks Foods.  It has a great zesty flavor!

Bake for another 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.  Remove from oven and let set for about 5-10 before digging in.  


 

Enjoy! 

13 comments:

  1. Lucy, this pizza looks so delicious, flavorful and healthy! I'm so glad to have found your blog and look forward to exploring your recipes! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Very interesting pizza version! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I never would have thought about using polenta as a crust but it makes sense. Looks good!

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  4. @Georgia - thanks for stopping by, let me know how you like it!
    @Chrissy, yay!
    @Efychia,thanks for checking it out, hope you like it!
    @Stacy, it's a fun change!

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  5. yay! love finding other STL bloggers! Thanks for stopping by my blog and welcome to the area! I've lived here about 3 years now and love it! Let me know if you have any questions :)

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  6. Wow! I never would have thought to use polenta to make a crust! Definitely interested in giving the idea a try! Thanks!

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  7. I don't know which my boyfriend is more obsessed with; polenta or pizza. I will definitely be making this for him!

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  8. This is a wonderful idea! I bet it tastes delicious

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  9. Great idea for pizza! Thanks for stopping by my blog-look forward to seeing what you're doing and sharing with you what I'm up to.

    ps-glad your week on Maui was memorable!

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  10. @Natalie, thank you! I am really looking forward to meeting STL bloggers!
    @Katryn, let me know if you try it!
    @Lele, he will owe you big time if you make this for him;)
    @Kat, thanks!
    @Susie,I will def be back, I am fascinated by life in Hawaii!

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  11. this looks insanely amazing!!! ahh craving pizza now :)

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  12. Hi Lucy this pizza would be perfect for the Get Grillin' event that Cookin' Canuck & I are hosting. We would love if you submitted this link and any others :)

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