Ready for this?
Healthy. Deep. Dish. Pizza.
Is that even possible?
And it was amazing.
I kind of improvised this as I went along. I started by slicing zucchini and the eggplant I bought Saturday at the farmers’ market.
For the sauce, which I decided to make 1/2 way through the baking of the eggplant and zucchini, I made use of the almost too ripe cherry tomatoes we had in the house. I put them in a pot with some sliced yellow onion, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of olive oil, some fresh picked basil, agave to sweeten, spinach, and tomato paste. Simmer and let it reduce and thicken.
Polenta is just about the easiest thing to make. Boil water. Add cornmeal. Whisk for about 30 seconds until it comes together and starts pulling away from the pan. This goes fast! Add salt. Spread into a spring-form pan (the pan you use for cheesecake).
I also added some parmesan on top of this crust, for an extra layer of flavor.
I first spread the sauce around the crust leaving an edge. Then I placed some eggplant, and finished it up with zucchini swirls.
Finally I topped it off with some mozzarella cheese. Not much though, not nearly as much as a regular deep dish pizza.
Because what’s a pizza without cheese!?
I ate my slice with giardinara and ricotta cheese. It’s best if you let this cool before you eat it, like anything else…even though it’s so tempting when it comes out of the oven all bubbly!
My mom and dad approved- we finished the whole thing! It’s definitely one of my best blog recipes to date. Go. Make. This.!!!!
Ok here’s a formal recipe:
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 2 1/4 cups water
Directions: Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Kill the flame. (If you’re using an electric stove you may want to switch burners). Add corn meal slowly, whisking all the while. Whisk until the polenta begins to pull away from the pan. Salt it to taste.
Spray a spring form pan and also spray your spatula. Press the polenta into the bottom of the spring form pan (or other pan if you don’t have one) using your spatula, or your hands. Make it as even as possible.
Spinach, Basil, and Cherry Tomato Pizza Sauce
- 1 container cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 big handful spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs agave nectar
- about 5 basil leaves
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
Directions: In large sauce pan add olive oil, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to break down. Add tomato paste. Smash the cherry tomatoes with your spatula against side of pan. (This is really fun!) Add spinach, basil, and agave. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes, reducing and thickening into a nice sauce.
Baked zucchini and eggplant
- 1 eggplant sliced thin
- 2 zucchinis sliced thin
- Olive oil
- Salt, Pepper
Directions: Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet. Lay zucchini and eggplant down. Salt, pepper, and drizzle olive oil over the top. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.
Healthy Polenta Deep Dish Pizza
- Polenta crust
- Spinach, basil, and cherry tomato pizza sauce.
- Baked zucchini, eggplant, or any toppings you like!
- Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Directions: Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the polenta crust. This is optional but highly recommended. Spread pizza sauce around crust, leaving space at the edge. Layer the sauce with your choice of vegetables- in this case eggplant then zucchini (for aesthetic value—zucchini is prettier!). Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 for about a half hour, until top is browned and crust is crunchy!
Top with more parmesan, giardinara, ricotta, or anything else you like!
ENJOY without the guilt of a regular deep dish pizza!