This savory pie is not strictly a pizza, because the chewy crusty dough is missing. However, it’s Italian to the core, featuring aromatic Pancetta, pungent Gorgonzola cheese, roasted pepper strips and pine nuts.
By Yuliya Childers
I usually am not a fan of dishes when one thing is passed off as another one — veggie burgers, mock crab meat, tofu — that’s just not my cup of tea. I say, if you are going to eat a burger, for Pete’s sake, just eat the dang real meat. But sometimes, curiosity just takes over, and you end up with things like this one.
Meet the fake pizza. The nerve! Passing something completely different off as pizza, insanity at it’s worst! But don’t be in a hurry to shrug it off. The thing (I am still working on a name) turned out to be something quite interesting. My family didn’t appreciate the blue cheese flavor taking over, but if you are not a fan of pungent cheeses, you can always go in a milder direction and switch to goat cheese, or a young mozzarella. The key is to layer the thing nicely and present it in such a way, so that unsuspecting victims don’t realize they’ve been fooled until they actually sink their teeth into it.
Here is how it goes. You make a batch of polenta — whichever way you like it — with stock or milk or water. And you make it quite thick. You spread the polenta on a baking sheet atop of greased parchment or foil, to make a crust about 1/2 in thick. You let the crust cool until it’s nicely set. Then you bake the crust until done, preparing your layers in the mean time.
As soon as the crust is done, pull it out of the oven, sprinkle your toppings in layers, arrange them in a pretty way and bake for a few more minutes to lightly brown.
Slice the thing like a pizza, or cut into squares if you wish, and enjoy.
Since polenta started this all, I decided to go into a fully Italian direction and use all the typical Italian ingredients — pancetta, gorgonzola, pignoli, sweet peppers, shallots, garlic and olive oil. For our green-of-the-day (we are on a 30 day challenge of eating green with every meal), I added sauteed baby spinach.Print
Yuliya Childers is a self-proclaimed cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city of Odessa on the Black Sea coast. She started cooking at quite an early age and learned most of her skills by watching others and reading cook books. Made-from-scratch naturally grown food is her passion. Yuliya believes that truly good food either creates or invokes memories. Her blog Eat Already! is focused on everyday creative yet un-pretentious cooking that anyone with basic skill can replicate. Yuliya's recipes are usually accompanied by childhood memories or family stories related to the dish in some way. Her recipes are honest, eclectic, multi-cultural, imaginative, and often outside the box. Currently she's into artisan breads, traditional cooking, and everything fermented… Yuliya is cooking and writing about it from Alabama.