Polenta Crust Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

Polenta has become very popular in the United States.  It is a staple in Northern Italian cuisine and was a family favorite (well at least of my father's) when I was growing up in Northern Minnesota. Polenta is a great source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.  It also happens to be gluten free and delicious.

My father loved polenta! He would have it at least once a week at my Grandmothers. Me, I hated the stuff. Funny how things change! I consider polenta crust to be a great base, but really you can do anything you want with the toppings. Also, you can skip the stock in the base and make it with just water, or milk and water, or a different type of stock if you like.

I oil a pan in the video, but a silpat makes it completely easy because there’s no sticking. My favorite polenta brand that’s easy to find is Bob’s Red Mill. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Buon Appetito!

Yield: 4

Polenta Crust Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

prep time: 15 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 45 mins

A wonderful alternative to traditional pizza crust! Polenta is a good source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. It also happens to be delicious. Take the toppings as a suggestion and have fun making up your own topping combinations!

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • olive oil to coat pan
Toppings
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 slices of prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

instructions:

For the Crust
  1. Bring stock and milk to a boil in a saucepan and down to a simmer.  Stir constantly with a whisk and then a wooden spoon until quite thick, about 15 minutes.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  2. Spread polenta on a sheet pan coated with olive oil or lined with a silpat to 1/2 inch thick in a rectangle.  
  3. Put in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Toppings and Finishing
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion.  Sauté until golden brown, 10 minutes.  Add in sugar and remove from pan.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and add the spinach.  Sauté until spinach wilts, 3 to 4 minutes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Top the polenta crust with roughly 1 cup of the Asiago cheese, then caramelized onion, spinach, prosciutto, rest of Asiago cheese, and finally the pine nuts.
  4. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.
  5. Cut into 4 to 6 pieces and serve.  
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