Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polenta “Pizza”

Still trying to diversify my grain intake, I had been hearing about polenta pizza, and decided to give it a try. Most looked more like polenta casseroles with mozzarella and tomato sauce. I found two possibilities that seemed like they’d hold up a bit more like the real thing. That’s My Home used egg in the polenta, presumably to hold it together, while Fat Free Vegan Kitchen used a smaller crust, baked before adding toppings.

In the interest of simplicity, I decided to try the latter version first. Here’s what I did:


1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup instant polenta

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

tomato sauce

cheese (I used queso cremoso, because that’s what I had)

sun-dried tomatoes


green onions



Preheat the oven to 425. Oil a cookie sheet or 8 inch pan.

Bring the water, milk, and salt to boil. Whisk in the polenta, continually stirring until very thick.

Spread the polenta evenly in the bottom of the pan, about half an inch thick. This quantity of polenta will make enough for two personal-sized pizzas. I saved half for another use. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

While the crust is cooking, prepare your toppings. Rehydrate and chop the tomatoes, sauté the vegetables lightly in a non-stick pan until onion begins to soften.

After 12 minutes, take the crust out of the oven and invert itonto another dish. It should fall right out of the pan. Spread each crust with tomato sauce (don't use too much or they will be soggy) and top with veggies. Sprinkle with oregano

Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until toppings look done. Lift off the baking sheet carefully using a large spatula and your hand--they are not sturdy like regular pizza, so be careful not to let your toppings slide off. Cut into 4ths and serve.

Comments: There was a reference in the original recipe to parchment paper. I believe she used this instead of oil for the initial cooking, which seems like it’d be helpful, as mine stuck a bit even with the oil. Otherwise, the recipe went as predicted.

The pizza wasn’t quite solid enough to pick up, but I could pick up pieces of it, which satisfied my love for eating with my hands. Still, I wouldn’t call it pizza. It is definitely its own creature. The toppings felt a bit all over the place, so I’d like to refine them, but it was tasty! A bit of trouble, so it won’t become a regular rotation, but otherwise worthy of experimentation.

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