Pizza Night! Fennel, Onion, and Italian Sausage with Mixed Greens Salad
Active Time: 45-50 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes / Total Time: 60 minutes, plus 1 hour of refrigeration time for pizza crust
Makes 4 servings
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a hefty pinch, divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons refined coconut oil or ghee, melted, divided, plus more for the pan
- 1 medium bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced (about 6- 8 oz.)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 6-8 oz.)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
- ½ lb. bulk Italian sausage, sweet or hot (remove sausage from casings if you can’t find bulk)
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted*
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- 6 cups mixed greens
- ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar, plus a drizzle for the pizza, if desired
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- Brush a pizza pan or cookie sheet with a thin layer of coconut oil. Add water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add polenta in a steady stream. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce heat to low, switch to a wooden spoon and stir until polenta is thick, 10-15 minutes.
- Stir 1 tablespoon oil in to the polenta and very quickly transfer it to the prepared pan. Spread the polenta on the pan so that it is about ½ inch thick and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 450°F, prep your other ingredients now, and then go put your feet up for a little while
- Heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until the vegetables start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Stir often.
- Scoot the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the sausage, breaking it up with the spoon. Cook until sausage is fully browned and crumbled, 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in red pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the greens, goat cheese, and pine nuts. In a pint jar with an airtight lid, combine vinegar, mustard, pinch each of salt and pepper, and olive oil and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
- Remove polenta pizza crust from the refrigerator and place in hot oven. Bake 25 minutes.
- Remove crust from oven and evenly spread sausage mixture over top, leaving a ½” border around the edge. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, or until the edges of the polenta crust are beginning to brown and crisp.
- Drizzle the pizza with olive oil and vinegar, if desired.
- Cut the pizza into 10 pieces. Serve 3 per person tonight with ¼ of the salad and dressing per person.
- Package 2 pieces of pizza and ¼ of the salad and dressing per person into airtight containers for tomorrow’s lunch. (Keep the dressing separate, so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.) Refrigerate.
*To toast nuts, add to a small dry skillet and heat over medium-low. Stir frequently until you can smell their nutty aroma and they are golden brown. It will vary with the type of nuts, but should take between 3-5 minutes.