Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Breakdown, Breakthrough?

In the two years that I've written this blog I have made several stabs at organization.  The most successful seems to be the most unsophisticated; I cook throughout the week photographing along the way.  The recipes I love get shared, the ones I don't....  This system sustained deadlines and hectic work weeks.  It did not however, sustain food poisoning.

Not sure if it was a faulty quick thaw of my farmer's market beef, or just a bad experience at the pizzeria but the past few days were nothing good.   Though able to hold down solid foods, browsing through photographs of food has been most unappetizing.  With strength on my side and tea in my hand I present what very well may be the only pizza I eat again.  Its vegetarian and gluten free.  Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

This recipe first caught my eye as a gluten free option that did not require a specified a mix or xantham gum. With a Grey's Anatomy premiere on the tube and leftover roasted beets in the fridge,  I let my imagination go wild on what ultimately became a delicious meal.  A bit labor intensive, this is not a quick mid-week fix.  It is however, a fantastic option to add to your pizza night in, or as I learned the next day, a great brunch option when topped with a poached egg.

Polenta Pizza Crust:
Recipe By: Terry Walters
Clean Start Cookbook
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley (I omitted)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups polenta

  1. Over high heat, bring stock to boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add salt, basil, oregano, parsley, pepper and olive oil.  Whisking constantly, pour in polenta and continue whisking for 5-7 minutes until smooth and thick.  Pour into two 11 inch tart pans and spread evenly over the bottom of each pan.  Cool slightly and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.  (According to the author, this can be done hours ahead of time) 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place pizza stone or baking sheet on middle rack.  Remove polenta from the refrigerator, sprinkle pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal, transfer polenta to the stone or baking sheet and bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.  

Vegetable Pizza Toppings:
Recipe By: Lori Pierce
1 TB butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 beets, roasted and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
handful of sunflower or other micro greens
4 ounces goat cheese
kosher salt and freshly pepper
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized.  
  2. Layer the onions on your pizza and top with beet slices, tomatoes, and dot with goat cheese. 
  3. Return pizza to the 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes, until heated through.  
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with micro greens.  Enjoy now, or the next morning!
More a fork and knife pizza than a grab a slice, this was fresh and oh so delicious.  The gluten free crust, made with readily available ingredients was an inventive take on a crust, and a suitable substitute.  Nothing like a pepperoni pizza, I think I will be trying this recipe again soon.  

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