I really love cornmeal crusts and have been using a few variations of them ever since making plasto on my own. They provide a great crunch and are a wee bit healthier than traditional crusts (especially the ones that contain a stick of butter). Now that we’re finally getting some produce in season (you know, besides sweet potatoes), I was looking forward to making something chock-full of vegetables.
I really loved the flavor of the red pepper sauce, especially, and plan on using a variation of it with pasta soon. It was so simple to make and had so few ingredients, but that just allowed them all to come through a bit and marry into something great. I think a take on a cornmeal “pizza” will be my next thing – a similar sauce, perhaps, layered with mozzarella and pizza toppings like mushrooms (always on my pizza), green peppers, sausage, etc.
I totally forgot to take a picture of the sliced pie, but it looked quite pretty with the layered up vegetables!
3/4 cup cornmeal
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1.5 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 – 1/3 cup water, milk, or broth
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/2 tsp. herbs de Provance
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
3/4 cup asiago cheese, divided
8 asparagus spears, trimmed
Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a pie or tart pan with a little oil.
To make the crust, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, butter, oil, and salt and pepper. Add a little water/milk/broth until you get a dough that will stick together a bit when pinched (sort of like a graham cracker crust). Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes before adding the roasted red pepper, tomato, 1 clove garlic, and herbs de Provance. Continue cooking about 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the balsamic vinegar, scrape up anything stuck to the pan, and allow it to evaporate. Move the mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Wipe out the pan and add the butter. Cook the mushrooms and the remaining clove of garlic until the mushrooms have given up all their juices and they are re-absorbed.
Build the pie by placing the zucchini in concentric circles, slightly overlapping, over the crust. Spoon the mushroom mixture on top of the zucchini, followed by all but about 2 Tbsp. of the cheese. Spread the roasted red pepper sauce across the pan, and then place the asparagus spears in a circular pattern over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.