Serious Eats: Recipes

'Clean Start': Polenta Pizzas with Kale, Chard, and Parsley Pesto

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

These Polenta Pizzas from Clean Start by Terry Walters don't have all that much to do with their doughy, cheesy namesake, but considering it's about a thousand times better than any vegan, gluten-free version I've ever tried, I'm not going to argue about semantics.

The 'pizza' begins with an herbed polenta dough that's formed in a shallow fluted tart pan and baked until crisp. Walters' recipe gives you a choice of two toppings—kale and maitake mushrooms and chard with a parsley-walnut pesto. Both toppings include briefly sautéed dark, leafy greens, full of lots of great for you stuff like vitamins and minerals that don't usually find make their way onto the top of a pizza. The kale and maitakes are layered on top of tomatoey pizza sauce giving the polenta pizza a little bit of sweetness and maybe a touch of plain old pizza flavor when the mushrooms mingle with the sauce. The second topping combo was even more exciting due to a very tasty walnut parsley pesto that lends a great nuttiness and a bright acidity. And the best part about these cornmeal pies? Just like real pizza, this polenta version can be enjoyed cold, straight out the fridge .

We have two (2) copies of Clean Start to give away this week.

Adapted from Clean Start by Terry Walters. Copyright © 2010. Published by Sterling Epicure. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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