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I’ve got a confession to make. It’s about a personality trait that my close friends and family know all too well, and one that has gotten me into trouble on more occasions than I care to admit.
You ready for it? I’m stubborn. In a my-way-or-the-highway, “it’s not that I think I’m always right, it’s just that you’re always wrong” kind of way.
Would you ever guess that about me? (You don’t necessarily have to answer.)
But for as many times as my stubbornness has caused headaches and heartaches to me or someone I love, it’s served me extraordinary well. Case in point: this pizza.
You see, when I was dreaming up with the menu for my Eggland’s Best Pink Party, I initially came up with two different 4-course menus. Both involved a variation of this breakfast pizza as the second course, and in both cases, black beans and green chiles were present. Being ever unable to make a quick decision when it comes to menu-planning (that’s a trait I wish I had) I took a quick vote among some foodie friends far and wide. People who I wish could have been at the party, but due to distance, couldn’t quite make it.
The result was surprising, and overwhelming: both menus were good, but black beans and green chiles on the pizza? They just didn’t belong with everything else that was supposed to come before and after. It was like a never-ending round of “one of these things is just not like the others.” I was sad. Disappointed in myself. Had I become a complete menu planning failure?
I think you can guess what happened. In a wave of stubbornness (or selfishness, because I wanted black beans and everyone else might hate them?) I pretty much disregarded all those opnions.
And I made the pizza, with black beans and green chiles. Roasted sweet potatoes, kale, and jack cheese too. And of course, eggs. Because that what this party was all about. The pizza was served after a mushroom and brie egg roulade and prior to a latke benny with smoked salmon. If there was any question about whether this pizza didn’t “go”, it was decisively answered by the three rounds of clean plates. (Thankgoodness my husband loves doing dishes.)
Furthermore, it may have even been the favorite among my party-goers. Or was it the roulade? The benny? The roasted buttercup squash goat milk ice cream? I say “may” because ultimately it seemed that no one in attendance could choose a favorite. However, it was by far the most asked-about recipe when I told all of YOU about the menu, so perhaps it was the reader favorite .
I assembled this pizza on top of a polenta crust, which was a game-time decision when my first plan failed at the last moment. Fortunately, I always have cornmeal. I have no special tricks up my sleeve, nor do I have measurements aside from what went into the crust. When it comes to pizza, my friends, measurements are pesky and trite. Just do what feels good to you.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Breakfast Pizza on Polenta Crust
For the Polenta Pizza Crust:
1 1/4 cups (225gm) yellow cornmeal
3 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
(Shortest ingredient list ever on Cara's Cravings, right here!)
(Amounts are approximate)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
Southwestern seasoning blend
1 large bunch of kale, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles
3/4 cup cooked black beans
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the polenta crust:
Line a 9x13" rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine cornmeal and broth in a blender and process until fully combined. Pour into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Pour into the prepared baking sheet and scrape into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Cool for 20 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator, and chill for at least 30 minutes. (Can be refrigerated overnight.)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Remove crust from refrigerator and uncover. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm.
To prepare the toppings:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Arrange sweet potato on a nonstick baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with southwest seasoning. Toss to coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender. (The sweet potatoes can be cooked a day or two ahead of time and kept refrigerated, or roasted at the same time as the polenta crust.)
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the skillet with a few splashes of water, until it wilts down a bit. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
To prepare the pizza:
Remove the crust from the oven and add desired toppings. Scatter the sweet potatoes, kale, green chiles, black beans, and cheese evenly over the polenta pizza crust. Carefully crack the eggs on top. Bake at 375ºF for about 15 minutes, until egg whites are set and yolks are still runny. Sprinkle with black pepper. Slice and serve hot.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com