Personal Polenta Pizza

by on January 29, 2008
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Personal Polenta Pizza
It was Friday night, and I was in the mood for pizza. But I’ve been strong, sticking to my resolution to eat healthier, and I knew I needed something lighter than the standard crust. You may remember that I’ve already used potatoes as a pizza crust; this time I wanted something a little more crust-like yet still gluten-free. I finally settled on polenta.

I’d seen a lot of recipes for polenta pizza that, unfortunately, all seemed to come out more like polenta casserole, but I thought with a little tweaking I could make a polenta crust that would be more like an actual crust–crispy and sturdy enough to eat out of hand. In my version, the polenta is first cooked, then baked, then baked again with the pizza toppings. The crust is sturdy enough to pick up–if you’re careful. (If you’re not, you may wind up with a lap full of pizza toppings!) It still tastes like polenta, so if you’re looking for an authentic-tasting, gluten-free pizza crust, this isn’t it. But it did the trick to quell my pizza cravings; maybe it will have the same effect on yours.

Personal Polenta Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each basil and oregano
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • —–
  • about 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • about 8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 ounces vegan sausage, cooked (or gluten-free alternative)
  • sliced black olives (optional)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Oil two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  2. Put the water, cornmeal, salt, and seasonings into a large microwavable casserole dish or 1-quart measure. Cook at full power for 4 minutes. Stir well and cook again at high power for 2 more minutes. Stir again and cook at high power for another 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir in the optional oil, and beat with a spoon until completely smooth.
  3. [Non-microwave option: Cook in a medium-sized pot on low, stirring frequently, until very thick.]
  4. Spread the polenta evenly in the bottom of the two pans. (If you have any leftover, save it for another use–or make another small pizza.) Place the pans in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust is cooking, prepare your toppings and sauce. I used a simple tomato paste-based sauce (3 tbsp. paste, 2 tbsp water, garlic, oregano, basil to taste) because I wanted something thick and not watery. Your favorite spaghetti sauce can be used. Sauté the vegetables lightly in a non-stick pan until onion begins to soften.
  6. After 12 minutes, take the crusts out of the oven and invert them onto a large baking sheet, side by side. They should fall right out of the pan with the parchment paper stuck to them. Peel away the parchment. Spread each crust with pizza sauce (don’t use too much or they will be soggy) and top with veggies and vegan sausage. Sprinkle with chopped garlic.
  7. 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.
Notes
Nutritional info excludes oil spray and optional ingredients and uses 3 tbsp. tomato paste and Gimme Lean “Sausage.”
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 of recipe Calories: 308 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 61g Sodium: 486mg Fiber: 8g Protein: 13g

 


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 miakoda February 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

this sound yummy. Any thoughts on the best way to freeze the crusts if I want to make them in advance for a meal off in the future? I would also welcome your thoughts on whether they should be totally defrosted before baking with toppings or they can go on the over frozen. thanks!!

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2 Susan Voisin February 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I would wrap them and freeze them individually. I think it would be best to defrost them at least partially before baking. I would put them on a baking sheet and let them sit on the counter for about an hour beforehand.

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3 miakoda February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

wrap them in what?

thanks for responding!!!

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4 Susan Voisin February 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Plastic freezer bags or plastic wrap. Freezer bags will be best to prevent freezer burn.

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5 miakoda February 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

thanks so much.

6 Walt Huntsman June 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Could you do this using the polenta rolls you find in the stores? I have a couple of rolls and am looking for diffferent ways to use them, still being new to the world of polenta. Thanks.

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7 Rhonda November 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm

But you didn’t mention what temp to cook at? Or am I not seeing it:)

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8 Susan Voisin November 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for pointing that out! The first step of the instructions was missing, but I’ve added it now.

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9 Annette January 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Hi!

Thanks for the recipe — I’m currently in the process of making the pizza crusts and I’m really struggling to cook my crusts all the way through. They’ve been in the oven for approx. 40 minutes already.

I don’t have a microwave, so I cooked my cornmeal and water on the stove top. How thick should the consistency be of those polenta mixture? I thought my mix was thick enough, but my crusts aren’t setting up, so I’m wondering if didn’t cook my mixture for long enough, or if 3 cups of water was too much for my polenta.

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10 Sara May 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I was so excited about this recipe, but my crusts were a disaster. I cooked the polenta on the stove until it was very thick, then poured it into my pans. The crusts looked done and came right out when I flipped them onto the baking sheets, but the parchment was stuck. I thought the crusts might need to cook a bit longer, so I left them in the over for another 20 minutes, but the parchment still stuck 🙁 We’re eating them anyway now, but I feel like I lost half the polenta on the parchment. Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? Your recipes are always so wonderful and I’m just wondering how I screwed this one up so badly! Thanks!

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