Polenta vegetable pie

Ingredients (small pie dish that serves 2-3 people)

For the pie crust:

half polenta (cornmeal)  half unbleached wheat flour, water, dash of salt, butter or olive oil if you prefer). To have a crunchier pie crust, use more cornmeal than wheat flour.

The filling:

one medium zucchini

3-4 medium crimini mushrooms (you can use other kinds of mushrooms as well)

one medium onion

few cloves of garlic

one bell pepper (red or green)

1 cup celery

1 cup broccoli

grated mozzarella cheese

olive oil

tomato sauce (homemade ideally)

black pepper

basil

To make the pie crust:

Put the cornmeal and flour directly in the pan, add some warm water, and the chunks of butter. Let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour so the butter softens. Knead with your hands till you have a soft dough that can be easily shaped and doesn’t stick to your hands. You can add more water or cornmeal to reach the desired consistency. Pour a bit of olive oil in the pan, smear it on the bottom of it and then with your fingers press the dough into the pan to cover the whole bottom.

Bake it for about 10-15 minutes, only half way. Turn the oven off and leave the crust in there while you prepare the rest.

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The filling: 

In a pan place copped onion and sliced pepper with some olive oil, turn the heat up and fry to about 10 minutes while stirring occasionally, till the onion browns and the pepper softens. Add chopped garlic and some black pepper.

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Add sliced mushrooms and continue cooking on medium fire, adding a bit more oil if needed. Add broccoli and zucchini chunks and half cup of water and continue cooking. The water will evaporate and soften the broccoli.

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 Place all this on the corn pie crust, and the tomato sauce on top.

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Set aside.

Put water in a medium pot and turn the heat on. While the water is warm but not yet boiling, sprinkle cornmeal while stirring. You’ll need about half cup cornmeal for 2 cups water. Keep stirring till it boils and you see it become thicker. If not thick enough you can add more cornmeal. Turn off the heat, and spoon the cornmeal on top of the pie, spread it evenly on the surface.

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Turn the heat on high and place the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes. Keep checking, you want the top of the pie to have a slightly brown crust, but not to get burned.

Take the pie out and break on top of it 2-3 eggs. Stick it back in the oven and bake it for 5 more minutes, or until the eggs are done. It will taste better if the egg white is done but the egg yolk is still soft.

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Take the pie out again and sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese on top. Turn the oven off and put the pie in just for a few minutes till the cheese melts.

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Slice it and serve it warm. If you wish you can drizzle some sour cream on top and sprinckle some basil and oregano.

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