Thursday, March 28, 2013

Polenta Pizzas with Kale, Chard, and Parsley Pesto

For the polenta pizza crust:
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups polenta
For the kale and maitake mushroom topping:
1 large leek, sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons mirin
2 maitake mushrooms
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup pasta sauce
For the chard and parsley pesto topping:
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Parsley Walnut Pesto (recipe follows)
For the parsley walnut pesto:
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup toasted walnuts
11/2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt
For the crust, over high heat, bring stock to boil. Reduce heat to medium and add salt, basil, oregano, parsley, pepper and olive oil. Whisking continuously, pour in polenta and continue whisking for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and thick. Pour into two 11-inch tart pans and spread evenly over bottom of each pan. Cool slightly and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 350°F and place pizza stone or baking sheet on middle rack. Remove polenta from refrigerator, sprinkle pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal, transfer polenta to stone or baking sheet and bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. For kale pizza, place large skillet over medium heat and sauté leek in 11/2 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes. Add mirin and sauté 2 minutes longer. Crumble maitake mushrooms, add to pan and sauté 5 minutes or until soft. Fold in kale and sauté 3 minutes longer. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, season to taste with salt and black pepper and remove from heat. For chard pizza, sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft, following the directions for the kale topping. Add chard, sauté 1 minute, remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. For the parsley walnut pesto, with food processor running, drop in garlic and process until minced. Turn off processor, scrape down sides and add walnuts, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Process to mince all ingredients and combine. Season to taste with salt and thin with extra olive oil to achieve desired consistency. Refrigerate or freeze in airtight container until ready to use. Spread pasta sauce or parsley pesto evenly over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch edge. Top with kale or chard mixture and return to oven to bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cut with pizza wheel and serve.

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