Polenta Pizza with Garlicky Baby Greens
As a runner, I am always looking for good food to fuel my runs. I love pizza, and am trying to stay away from the frozen stuff. But who can remember to make a big batch of pizza crust? Apparently, not me. So I was very excited to find this recipe in the Taste section of the Star Tribune a month ago for a homemade pizza with a polenta crust. I always have cornmeal on hand, and decided to give this recipe a try.
Note: For this pizza topped with garlic-infused greens, polenta stands in for the traditional wheat-based crust. While cornmeal or polenta is naturally gluten-free, it’s often processed on machinery that also works with wheat products, so make sure to look for brands that specify “gluten-free” on their labels.
From Meredith Deeds.
- 2 1/2 c. water
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. gluten-free polenta
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing the pan
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 oz. (about 4 c.) baby greens (any green or combination of spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 c. marinara sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and add the salt. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until the polenta starts to pull away from the side of the pan, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Spread out the cornmeal mixture on the pan in a circle about 1/3 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter, building up the edges slightly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the baby greens, red pepper flakes and salt, and sauté 2 minutes, until slightly softened. Remove from heat.
- Remove the crust from the oven. Spread marinara sauce over the polenta crust, leaving a border, then layer on the mozzarella, greens and Parmesan cheese. Bake the pizza until the cheese begins to brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up.
As far as serving size goes, I would say that the recipe serves 2 adult runners. The polenta made about a 10-inch crust, though I might not have the best crust-spreading technique (my husband and I also like to eat). I used spinach for my greens, and it was fantastic.
Try it, leave a comment below and tell me what you think!