Polenta Crust with Pesto, Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Red Pepper

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Prep time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus at least 2 hours to let crust set up (ideally overnight)

Makes one 9 X 13-inch pizza

Crust

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

OR

You can purchase polenta and cook it IAW package directions

Toppings

  • 1 cup shelled edamame (thaw if using frozen)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced roasted bell pepper

Make the crust: Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with water, and bring to a simmer. Place the cornmeal in an 8-quart stainless-steel bowl, and whisk in the 3 cups of boiling water until smooth. Stir in the salt. Seal the bowl with aluminum foil, and set it over the pot of simmering water. Cook for a total of 90 minutes: During the first 20 minutes, stir several times; then stir every 20 to 30 minutes (replenish simmering water, if necessary.) Spread polenta into an oiled 9-X-13-inch pan, and refrigerate until chilled (or up to five days). When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Make the pesto topping: Blend the first six ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, and use to top the pizza along with the other ingredients. Bake until toppings are warmed through.

Adapted from: Lynn Rossetto Kasper’s The Italian Country Table

Tip of the Day

Don’t Drink Sugar Calories! Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can put into your body. This is because liquid sugar calories don’t get registered by the brain in the same way as calories from solid foods. For this reason, when you drink soda, you end up eating more total calories. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of health problems. Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as bad as soda in this regard. They contain just as much sugar, and the small amounts of antioxidants do NOT negate the harmful effects of the sugar.

Daily Inspiration 

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