Thursday, 10 April 2008

Yellow pizza - LiveSTRONG day

May 13th this year is LiveSTRONG day – did you know? It’s a day of national awareness of cancer issues and survivorship organised by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Like almost everyone else I know, our lives have been affected by cancer, and if I can do even a tiny thing to increase awareness of what Julie Walter’s character in Calendar Girls calls ‘that filthy disease’ I will do it joyfully.

Even us frivolous foodie types can get involved, thanks to Barbara at winosandfoodies, who is organising her second Taste of Yellow event. You just have to cook something yellow – anything at all, as long as it’s yellow. For some reason, I have fixated on yellow pizza, topped with yellow. I pondered for a while what pizza toppings would qualify, but happily veggies have quite a wide range to choose from, and I selected peppers and corn. Cheese pretty much fits the bill already, and as to the crust: polenta, which I haven’t cooked for a while.

The creation was nice and easy. I used yet another Moosewood recipe to guide the quantities for the base, which I then left to set for a bit on a baking tray. For the topping I just fried up some onion and garlic, added the corn and peppers, and let them sauté until they were soft. Then I scattered them artistically on the top, shaved some parmesan over, and popped the whole thing in the oven. Various recipes I’d read had been fairly explicit about letting polenta sit for at least 10 minutes after coming out of the oven which made me suspect that it was prone to collapse. I was very good and waited for my ten minutes, after which time it was still very reluctant to shift in one piece. Conscious that I needed a decent photograph I quickly snapped it while still on its baking tray – hence the less than perfect picture! Trust me – it looked better in real life. It did fall apart quite comprehensively when I prised it off, but it tasted really nice. I’d hoped that the polenta would crisp up more than it did and so was sulking a bit when I tried it, but there was actually quite a nice contrast between the crisper edges and the softer middle. So, it wasn’t exactly perfect, but it was yellow, and that’s the important thing.

I'm sending it on over to Barbara, who did an amazing job running last year's event - it attracted a whopping 149 entries. I hope this year beats it! I'm sending my entry with particular thoughts of Heather, Kathleen, and of course, Maurice.

Yellow pizza (adapted from Moosewood Low Fat Favourites)
(This amount serves 4-6 with a topping - I made 1/3 of it)

3 cups water
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. While the water heats. stir the remaining cup of water into the cornmeal. When the water boils, whisk the wet cornmeal into it. Add the salt and 1tsp of the oil, cover, and simmer on a very low heat for 20-25 mins, stirring often to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat. Prepare a 7x12 inch nonreactive baking dish with cooking spray or a light coating of oil. Spread the polenta evenly over the bottom of the baking dish and set aside (I spread it out into a circle shape, and it didn't splurge out too much. Ideally I would have used a ring of some sort to hold it in its shape, but all my tins were too big).

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C

Prepare your choice of topping (the Moosewood original is for a mushroom and chard one) and spread over the polenta. Top with cheese. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until sizzling hot. Cool for at least 10 mins before cutting.


Johanna said...

you are so lucky to have yellow peppers - they are so expensive in Australia if I ever see them! And they look so lovely on a pizza!

re the polenta pizza base - I recently made a similar one which was actually called a tart and had to be cooked for quite a while before the toppings went on - it did crisp up but I would like to do one that has a bit less cooking before topping it so am interested to see your experience

oh and I tagged you for a six word memoir - sorry forgot to put much in the way of instructions - it is just a matter of six words to describe yourself and pass it on to 6 others - but only do it if you are interested (and don't worry if you don't want to pass it on)

Barbara said...

Hi Lysy great to have your entry. It looks yummy. An intresting crust. Much healthier than a usual pizza dough.

Thanks for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow.

Tracy said...

This looked so yummy I had to go out and get pizza for my lunch! Did the Scientist participate? I forget where he stands on peppers...

Lysy said...

The Scientist is a fan of peppers, but he was out that night so didn't get the yellow goodness! Sorry for corrupting your lunch, though, Tracy - I thought of you today as I put cream cheese on my toast!

I wonder why yellow peppers are more expensive than other colours in Australia? I have to admit that I assumed the colours were different ripenesses of the same family. This base was definitely quite quick to cook, and perhaps putting it under the grill for a few minutes at the end would crisp it up more too. I may try that next time...

LisaRene said...

Great idea to make a yellow polenta pizza. Scrumptious toppings :)

149 entries, wow!