Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moosewood Cookbook: Polenta Pie

Despite what nutritionists, diet specialists or hard core gluten-free groupies say I cannot seem to shake my love for pizza!  I've heard it said, if you refrain from eating something long enough you'll lose a taste for it.  I beg to differ, or my taste buds beg to differ!  No matter how long I stay away from pizza (and root beer), when I splurge and enjoy them I feel like my food-love bank is FULL!  They're the BEST!

With that said, I do try to limit my pizza and root beer intake.  To feed the need, I try to find recipes that will sort of give me the food-love feeling.

Perhaps that's why I chose Polenta Pie for my second Moosewood Cookbook selection.

The recipe reads, "Easy deep-dish pizza with a  thick and crunchy cornmeal crust."  Deep dish.  Pizza.  Crunchy crust.  They all sound good to me!

I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  I've re-discovered my Polenta love!  And furthermore I love the recipe provided for in this cookbook.

So without further ado, here's...


1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups boiling water
a little olive oil


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
about 10 mushrooms, thinly sliced
5-6 medium garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
fresh black pepper
1/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 small or 1 medium ripe tomato, sliced

Combine cornmeal, salt, and cold water in a small bowl.  Have the boiling water on the stove in a saucepan Gradually add the cornmeal mixture, whisking.  Cook about 10 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently.  It will get very thick.  Remove from heat, and let cool until cool enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Oil a 10-inch pie pan.  Add the polenta. Using a spatula and wet hands, form it into a smooth, thick crust over the bottom and sides of the pan.  Brush the surface with olive oil, and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Love this color!

Brush with olive oil before baking

Fresh out of the oven

While the crust bakes, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized skillet.  Add the onion, and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until it begins to soften.  Add bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini, and sauté until everything is tender.  Stir in the garlic and herbs, and sauté just a few minutes more.

Turn up the oven to broiling temperature.  

Sprinkle half the cheese onto the bottom of the baked crust, then add the tomato slices.  Spread the sautéed mixture over the tomatoes, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Broil until brown (about 5 minutes).  Serve hot.

Layering the toppings

Into the oven

Fresh from the oven...Ready to eat!

For the meat eaters....serve with sausages.


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