Polenta Pizza Pie

So, remember how I mentioned briefly on Monday that Missoni for Target was coming out yesterday?  I obviously had plans to visit Target on Tuesday on my lunch (pro of working in the burbs).  I literally had NO idea that it was going to be as big of a deal as it was.  Although, based on how excited I was, I should have understood that other people would be just as excited.  But, being clueless, I headed to Target on my lunch hour just thinking about all of the great new stuff I was going to get–I  was giving myself a pep talk about sticking to my new clothing budget as I rushed to the clothing section. I was clued in by the huge ‘MISSONI for Target’ sign hanging above where the clothes should be but when I got there I saw……nothing.  The clothes racks were totally empty.  Not even 1 thing left.  I originally thought “ok maybe they haven’t put stuff out yet?”  And then realized how dumb that thought was.  I remembered that pretty much every department—shoes, home decor, sleepwear, purses, etc. should have something from Missoni so I rushed from department to department (I’m not kidding about the ‘rushed’, I looked like a bit of a freak) only to find….nothing again.  I called my mom and left her a voicemail telling her there was an ‘emergency’ happening and that she needed to call me back.  She knows me too well, and didn’t sound alarmed when she returned my call, asking what I needed.  I said everything was sold out and she HAD to go to Target by her to see if they had anything.  Being the nicest, best, awesomest mom that she is, she went and picked up 2 blouses and a pair of shoes for me!  Woo hoo!

I read an article saying that the Missoni stuff is already going for some big bucks on ebay–like some things even more than regular Missoni.  What do you guys think?   Worth it or no?  As much as I wanted a ton of the stuff, I definitely wouldn’t pay more than face value.  The thing I don’t understand is if people are paying a ton for Missoni for Target, why wouldn’t they just pay a ton and get regular ‘ol Missoni?  Just sayin.

Moving on… the other day I made something I have had on my recipe list for a long time…polenta pizza!  My mom used to make polenta on occasion and I have always loved it, although in college it came to my attention that not many people actually know what it is.  My roommates had never heard of it before!  One of my roommates tried it one time when I made it and decided she liked it and wanted to buy some.  The next time she went to the grocery store, she called me and asked me what section she could find the ‘placenta’ in, haha, gross.

For those of you who have never had polenta, it is just ground cornmeal or corn grits.  You can buy it in a tube which is how I used to buy it (basically already cooked and hardened).  Now though, I like to buy it dry and then cook it on the stovetop–Bob’s is one brand that I know makes it.  What doesn’t Bob make is the real question.  Honestly, I love all of Bob’s products that I have tried–which is a lot.

You can eat it as it is after cooking (which is soft, basically like grits) or you can let it sit and it will harden.  The work is not too much more labor intensive than buying it already in a tube and I think it tastes a lot better.   Polenta is very versatile–it can be made sweet or savory and complements many different types of food.   I normally just cook it up with some garlic, salt and sometimes mix with marinara and cheese—really simple.   Polenta is really easy because you just mix it with water.  It can be cooked with lots of water on low for a long time, or with less water and medium temps.  It can be fried, baked, pretty much anything!  And it pairs well with a ton of different foods—it is very versatile to season, cook with, etc.  I have seen it served with just veggies, seafood, red meat, pretty much anything!

A longggg time ago when I was a more frequent NY times reader, I saw Mark Bittman’s recipe for a polenta pizza of sorts and have been meaning to give it a try.  Mine is not very similar to his, but his recipe is what gave me the original idea.

Polenta Pizza with spinach, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella

1 ¼ cup polenta

2 ¼ cup water

½ cup spinach

5-6 mushrooms (I used just white mushrooms that I had in the fridge)

6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

(Fresh) Herbs of choice—I used rosemary, basil and sage

Salt to taste

First bring water to a boil in a pan (add some salt too).  Once water is boiling, pour in the polenta and stir.  Turn down the heat to medium-low and stir continuously.  The mixture will thicken considerably and is done when it starts to pull away from the side of the pan.  Be careful because when it gets too hot it starts to splatter—that is why you need to stir throughout.  If it splatters too much, turn the heat way down.

Once the polenta is done cooking, pour into a (greased) 8×8 pan.  Refrigerate the polenta for at least an hour—I just refrigerated overnight, but either one will work.  When it is hardened, pour sauce over the top.  I did half pizza sauce, half tomato dill pesto—but next time I think I would do all pizza sauce.

I topped with spinach, mushroom and shredded mozzarella.  I didn’t cook the spinach, but you could saute it beforehand.

 

One thing that I think needs changing from the pictured version is that I would put a few pieces of whole mozzarella down, so the cheese will melt into a thicker layer.  I ran out of cheese, which is why I didn’t do this.  I added some nutritional yeast to the top for a little bit of extra cheezy flavor, but you don’t have to add this part if you really want the mozzarella to stand out.  Add herbs of choice and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Once the cheese is melted and starting to brown, and the veggies are cooked (unless you cooked them before), the pizza is ready!

Cut and serve!  This makes about 4 servings.  Although I ate 2 servings easily—so maybe more like 2.

Does it taste exactly like pizza?  No, so don’t expect that.  Is it good in its own right?  Yes, very good!

And if you like polenta (or any sort of cornmeal or corn grits taste, if you haven’t tried polenta), I think you will really like it.  I loved the taste, and thought it was a great new way to eat polenta.  The only change I would have made is to add more cheese which I mentioned above.  If you try it, let me know what you think.

That’s all I’ve got…

We have an interesting new theme for this month’s supper club, coming up tomorrow!  I’ll have a recap on Friday.

See you then!

Katie

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