Polenta Crust With Pesto, Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Red Pepper

This simple-but-hearty polenta crust, adapted from Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Italian Country Table, is a cinch using Kasper’s double-boiler technique.


Makes one 9-x-13-inch pizza
Preparation time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus at least 2 hours to let crust set up (ideally overnight)



  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  • 1 cup shelled edamame (if using frozen edamame, thaw first)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced roasted bell pepper


  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with water, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Place the cornmeal in an 8-quart stainless-steel bowl, and whisk in the 3 cups of boiling water until smooth. Stir in the salt. Seal the bowl with aluminum foil, and set it over the pot of simmering water.
  3. Cook for a total of 90 minutes: During the first 20 minutes, stir several times; then stir every 20 to 30 minutes. (Replenish simmering water, if necessary.)
  4. Spread polenta into an oiled 9-x-13-inch pan, and refrigerate until chilled (or up to five days).
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  1. Blend the first six ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, and use to top the pizza along with the other ingredients.
  2. Bake until toppings are warmed through.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

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