About This Recipe
By: Chef Laura Bonicelli
Polenta Breakfast Pizza has a versatile polenta crust that goes with any topping. This is more than just a breakfast pizza. It’s worthy of your dinner table as well.
Polenta has been a part of my life since I was a child. My Grandmother made it for my Dad – probably every week. I thought, at the time, that it was awful. But I changed my mind. – I later learned to love the stuff! Grandma Lucy called it “peasant food.” I remember telling her that Chef’s across America were putting it on their menus. She thought that was ridiculous.
I have to confess that I rarely make this recipe as it’s written. The crust, yes. The toppings – rarely. It’s just too tempting to use the mozzarella in the fridge – or the heirlooms from the garden.
The crust goes together in about 20 minutes. You can use a coarse polenta if you like. The ratio of 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of polenta is what you have to keep in mind. If you want to forego the stock or the milk – the mixture can be made with water. You don’t have to stir constantly, just consistently.
If you don’t have a Silpat (silicone mat), I’d recommend making the crust baking sheet covered in parchment. Then, oil the parchment. The polenta can stick on the edges if you don’t use enough oil. A silicone mat is your best bet. Prebaking the crust is what makes it a crust – so don’t skip that step.
Caramelized onions go so well with polenta! Yes, they take some time – but are so worth the effort. A little sugar help with the caramelization, but also, the sweetness enhances the onion flavor. I also love the combination of asparagus and mushrooms. Undercook the asparagus. Remember, it’s going to get some extra heat in the oven when you’re finishing the pizza.
Finally, we love to finish the pizza off with crisp bacon, cheese, and a fried or poached egg. It’s showy and delicious. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner – you’re going to love this recipe!
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Step by Step Instructions
Polenta Breakfast Pizza
- =====For the Polenta=====
- 2 cups chicken stock -- preferably homemade
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup course polenta
- Kosher salt -- to taste
- =====For the Toppings=====
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil -- separated plus more for oiling the pan
- 1 yellow onion -- finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 8 ounces shitake or other type of mushrooms -- cleaned and sliced
- 12 thin asparagus sprigs -- trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and pepper -- to taste
- 4 slices bacon -- cut in 1/2-inch pieces and fried crisp
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated Asiago
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 fried or poached eggs -- optional
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Oil a silpat on a baking sheet.
- Make polenta by combining stock and milk in a medium saucepan and bringing to a boil. Slowly add polenta to liquid while continually stirring with a whisk, making sure polenta is incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon as mixture begins to thicken. Add Kosher salt to taste. Keep stirring until thick and remove from heat. Depending on the polenta you are using, this could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.
- Spread polenta into a rectangle on the silpat making it about 1/2 to 3/4" thick. Do this while polenta is hot and still easy to spread. Place polenta in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges begin to brown. If it bubbles up, poke it with a fork and push it back onto the pan.
- While polenta is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sautÈ pan over medium-high heat and sautÈ onion until browned and caramelized. This will take 15 minutes or longer. Stir in sugar and remove the onions from the pan. Add more oil to pan if necessary, and sauté mushrooms until they start to brown and give up some of their moisture. Add in asparagus and sautÈ until bright green and crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- When polenta is browned, remove from oven and cover with 1/2 of the Asiago cheese. Follow with the onions, mushrooms and asparagus, and bacon. Top with remaining Asiago and pinenuts.
- Return the pizza to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Top with eggs, if using.
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