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Friday, July 30, 2010

Polenta Skillet Pizza - updated

I had to post this one again. I have made it a few times since the first time I posted this in October 09, but have never been completely satisfied with the polenta crust.

But I tweaked it tonight, and it worked perfectly, in my humble opinion. The photo above is from the original post. I ate tonight's version far too quickly to take a photo.

I got this originally from the Oct 09 issue of
Vegetarian Times.

2 tb olive oil, divided
3/4 c instant polenta
1/2 tsp salt
1 recipe Quick Pizza Sauce (see below) or PESTO - both are great

Potential toppings - a short list:
  • 1 3.5 oz log goat cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into rings
  • fresh tomato
  • fresh avocado
  • Gouda cheese
  • olives
  • fresh basil
  • sauteed mushrooms....

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (New pointer: put iron skillet in the oven without oiling it, just to get it hot, while the oven is preheating).

2. Combine polenta, salt & 3 cups water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 5 minutes or until polenta is thick.

3. Remove skillet, brush bottom and sides of 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tb oil. (It will sizzle - be careful)

4. Spread polenta in prepared skillet, set in oven, and bake 20-25 minutes, or until beginning to brown on all sides. (The hot skillet makes the polenta immediately have a crisp bottom crust - awesome!) You want the crust crisp, but not burnt.

5. Remove skillet from oven, spread polenta with sauce (red or pesto). Place other toppings (unless you are putting tomatoes, fresh basil or avocado - wait until the pizza is cooked). Drizzle with remaining oil. Return to oven.

6. Bake 10-15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Top with shredded parmesan cheese.

I'm already dreaming of future toppings ... kale, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, eggplant, mushrooms, roasted garlic, red onion...

QUICK PIZZA SAUCE (save this recipe - I really liked it)

1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 tb finely minced onion or shallot
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red wine or red wine vinegar

Combine ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt & pepper if desired.

FRESH PESTO a winner!
2 cups basil packed (can use 1 cup arugula or cooked kale -- take some risks. Trust me it tastes great)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tb walnuts or pine nuts
1/4 c grated parmesan
3 cloves minced garlic

Put ingredients in a small food processor, 1/3 of ingredients at a time. Pulse until smooth, add more ingredients.

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