Even though my farm cooking days are over, I still have a LOT of fun recipes and creations to share with you guys. Soon enough, they will be from the comfort of my brand new kitchen, but this particular one took place down on the farm. The fun thing about this recipe is that it is so customizable – you can pick your own toppings, and even make a gluten-free version (just get GF corn meal). It’s quick and easy to throw together, but feels like a decadent treat.
Make Your Own Polenta Pizza
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, gruyere – your choice!)
- pizza toppings of your choice!
Preparation: First things first, go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next you need to make the polenta itself. Start with 1 cup of white or yellow corn meal.
Mix the cornmeal, salt, and pepper slowly into 2 1/4 cups boiling water in a sauce pot.
Whisk quickly and constantly, as polenta takes very little time to form. It should be sticky and kind of gluey – make sure to whisk enough to remove all the lumps.
Once the polenta is thick enough (pulling away from the sides of the pot), spoon it into a large coated spring form pan (about 10 inches). If you don’t have a spring form pan, you can probably also do this in a shallow pie pan. If you are using a smaller pan, use a little less cornmeal – otherwise your “crust” will be super thick!
Spread the polenta evenly around the base of the pan, trying to get it a little bit higher on the outside edges – you’re basically trying to make a Chicago deep dish pizza here, mmmmm.
Now that we have a “crust” – we need toppings. I made mine based on what was available in the fridge, so I went with sun dried tomatoes, arugula, and a mixture of gruyere and parmesan cheese.
Chopped the sun dried tomatoes into tiny bite sized pieces…
I mixed the arugula, tomatoes, a bit of olive oil, and half of my cheese mixture in a small bowl.
Feel free to take liberty and use whatever mixture of toppings and cheese (even soy cheeses!) that you prefer. Next, spread a tiny bit of olive oil on top of the polenta to help the crust crisp up, and then pile the toppings on. Before it goes into the oven, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is nice and melted and starting to brown – about 40 minutes If you used white cornmeal, you should also see the polenta start to brown a bit too.
The result is thick and doughy, and absolutely wonderful. When I mentioned making this on twitter, I had someone ask if it was high in calories. One cup of corn meal clocks in at around 600 calories, and this much polenta easily makes 4 large pieces, 6 if you’re sharing. So for 4 pieces, the crust itself would be 150 calories per slice – as long as you top with light cheese and loads of veggies, you can probably figure about 200 calories per slice. Be
tter than most pizza!
I loved using arugula as a topping here – it got nice and crispy, but still held that wonderful peppery flavor.
Cut into pieces and serve on a plate! I think homemade pizza can be kind of intimidating sometimes (especially the crust), but I assure you that this recipe was easy and delicious.