I belong to a group on Facebook called Tasting Table Cookbook Club & this month the cookbook to try is MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK by Mollie Katzen
This cookbook is from 1992. I think I bought it than, it was new & exciting… recipes that always worked & people really liked…except one I made for some friends ( but that is a long story)
Anyway, I put this book away & it has sat on the shelf for years. I pulled it out & sat & read through it the other day. There are so many fantastic recipes in it. Recipes that I use from other sources… peanut sauce, tahini, soups, etc… I am going to revisit this book more often, so be prepared to see more recipes from it!
This particular recipe, I had want to make years ago but didn’t. A thick cornmeal crust is right up my alley since I love cornmeal.
My grandfather used to eat Mamaliga… cornmeal cooked on the stove, some put onto a plate…spread with butter while it was warm so the butter melted into little pools in the dips of cornmeal… topped with cottage cheese, than salt & pepper…well, I can assure you this is delicious. Murray & I eat this sometimes, but I don’t put the butter on anymore..or if I do, not as much as my grandfather did. I just looked on the internet & there are recipes for Mamaliga, but my grandfather didn’t use one. I just make the cornmeal without a recipe as well, but you can use the instructions on the back of the package. We usually have some frozen mixed vegetables with it on the side…. tradition I guess… why change something so basic & delicious…
Getting back to the recipe…. a thick baked cornmeal crust…some grated mozzarella cheese .. sliced tomatoes…a pile of sautéed vegetables… more mozzarella cheese… then broiled shortly until brown… this was DELICIOUS!! I think this would be very easy to adapt to your own taste…change the type of sautéed vegetable if you like.. add more cheese…or make it as it is! I did not use as much garlic as the recipe called for, I used more mushrooms but basically I followed the recipe. Time-wise… the crust bakes for 45 minutes, but during that time you make the filling so it all works out!
Here is the recipe… POLENTA PIE… MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK..By Mollie Katzen
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups water in a saucepan
olive oil for brushing on the crust before baking
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
1/2 bell pepper
mushrooms… I used about 12
1 small zucchini
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp basil or some fresh basil… I forgot to measure what I used!!!
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes…slice the tomatoes … if you don’t; have or like Roma tomatoes, use any tomato you like..you could use 1 big field tomato
Make the Cornmeal Crust
Preheat oven to 375f
You will need a pie plate.. grease with non-stick cooking spray
- In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, salt & cold water together
- Boil the 2 cups of water in a saucepan
- When the water is boiling, whisk the cornmeal mixture into the water
- Lower the stove temperature to low & cook the cornmeal for 10 minutes
- STIR OFTEN SO THE CORNMEAL DOES NOT BURN & STICK TOO MUCH TO THE POT
- The cornmeal gets really thick
- When it is cooked, remove from heat & let the corn meal cool until you can handle it…it has to go into a pie plate… I did not let it cool too completely & did not handle it with my hands when forming into a crust
- When the cornmeal has cooled, appoint out into the prepared pie plate & spread it evenly over the bottom & up the sides of the pie plate, This crust is thick & delicious!
- Bake the cornmeal crust for 45 minutes. When it is finished baking, remove from the oven & set aside until ready to fill it
Make the filling while the crust is cooking
You will need a skillet to make the vegetables big enough to accommodate all the mushrooms!
- Prepare the vegetables…thinly slice the onion, red pepper, mushrooms & zucchini
- If you are using fresh basil, chop it
- Now, heat the olive oil in the skillet
- Add the onion & cook it until soft.. mine browned some..
- Add the red pepper, mushrooms & zucchini & cool until the vegetables are soft & everything is cooked to your liking… Stir often
- Add the garlic, basil & oregano
- Mix well & cook a bit longer so the spices mix well with the vegetables
- There is no salt added to this & I thought it might need it… it was fine without but you could add salt now if you want to
Now, put this pie together
Put your oven on to Broil
- Take the cooked crust & evenly put half of the shredded mozzarella cheese in the bottom
- Next, put the sliced tomatoes all over the bottom.. on top of the cheese
- Now, add all of the sautéed vegetables
- Top the vegetables with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese
- Place the pie under the broiler & broil until this is brown… it took about 6 minutes but watch it!! After all of that prep you would not want to burn this!!!
- I cut this in quarters to serve… eat while it is hot….we didnt’t but it was still good!