When my mom, a hardcore gourmet, met my dad, he was following a modest macrobiotic diet (suffice to say, he is not anymore). In those early years my dad sometimes made polenta for my mom, and according to her it was horrible. I always thought polenta was flavorless, dull food for hippies, cause that’s the image I got from my mom. Every time she heard the word polenta, she would jump up and share the polenta trauma my dad had caused her.
In the last couple of years I saw more and more recipes with polenta, and I had to admit they kinda looked appetizing. So on one adventurous day I decided that I wanted to try it for myself, I made Yvette’s recipe and I loved every bite of it. After I finished my dinner I immediately called my mom to tell her that it might have been my dad’s lacking cooking skills (kidding, dad) or her prejudices, but when made correctly, there is nothing boring about polenta. She stayed sceptic, but I for one am a complete convert.
Slightly adapted recipe from Home Made Summer by Yvette van Boven.
This recipe made enough ratatouille for two pizzas.
2 big onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 courgette, cut into small cubes
1 eggplant, cut into small cubes
4 big tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp harissa
pepper & salt to taste
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan. Add the onions and fry them for a couple of minutes until they are soft and slightly browned, add the garlic and fry for one more minute. Add all the other veggies and fry everything on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until everything is cooked through and soft. Add salt, pepper, harissa and thyme to taste.
1 L water with 1 tbsp salt
200 g polenta
50 g butter
75 g freshly grated Parmesan
1 portion ratatouille (the recipe as stated above gave me two portions)
50 g freshly grated Parmesan
A couple of fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/360˚F.
Bring the water and the salt to a boil. Add the polenta to the pot while stirring (to avoid lumps being formed) until the polenta and the water are mixed well. Turn down the heat, cover the pot with a lit and cook for about 30 minutes (unless the instructions on the package tell you otherwise), stir every now and then.
When the polenta is cooked through, turn off the heat, add the butter and Parmesan and mix thoroughly until they have been fully melted and incorporated in the polenta. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the polenta on an oiled baking sheet. Smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon. Let the polenta cool down and firm up.
Cover the polenta with the cooked ratatouille, but – just like a real pizza – don’t cover the edges. Sprinkle with the rest of the freshly grated Parmesan and place the pizza in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
When the pizza is done, take it out of the oven and sprinkle with some fresh basil leaves.