It’s yet another day that Rob and I are getting ready to leave for Dubai. Tomorrow we are off again to do some work over there and will be away for little over a week this time. I’m a little sad to leave right now as the lilacs have just come into bloom, my favourite part of spring/early summer. If there’s a time when I really like being in Sweden it’s between May and September when spring turns into summer until summer turns lightly into autumn. Either way we are going and I’m packing and cleaning and photographing a recipe and the house is more or less in shambles. Before I take care of these last details I want to share this polenta pizza with you because it’s Wednesday and that’s what we are used to here on Wednesdays – new recipes.
I’ve been wanting to try to make a polenta pizza forever. Being sensitive to gluten has sort of taken the fun out of pizza as I’m always wondering if there’s going to be a backlash to me eating them. Whilst it’s definitely possible to make a gluten free flour base for pizzas I have not yet mastered this unfortunately. If any of you have any tips or recipes please share them with me, I’d love the inspiration.
This polenta pizza doesn’t take the fun away and while it doesn’t taste like traditional pizza it’s got a crunch to the edges and provides a solid golden base for whatever you wish to put on top. I think most people would like this dish for movie night or at the pot luck. Like I said it’s not exactly like pizza, it’s definitely a little heavier, but what it is instead is awesome in its own right.
I decided to try to make a cheese for the pizza and then took the leap and went for tofu as the base. It worked out really well after a test or two and I enjoy the semi-firm dollops spread across the pizza. You can of course experiment with the texture to suit your own needs by adding splashes of water and adjusting the seasoning accordingly. The cheese goes on top of my choice of veggies; grilled courgette and oyster mushrooms (which isn’t a vegetable I know). You could of course use your imagination here and pick things you enjoy. Some ideas could be grilled thinly sliced aubergine, bell pepper or onions.
Anywho, this recipe is perfect to finish off a week so get the ingredients and prepare for Friday night in. Enjoy! x
POLENTA PIZZA W/ TOFU ALMOND CHEESE AND GRILLED OYSTER MUSHROOM + COURGETTE
YIELDS: 2-4 servings / TIME: 2 hours
3 1/2 cup water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 1/2 cup instant polenta
2 tsp mixed Italian herbs
Tofu almond cheese:
125 g firm tofu
1/4 cup almonds, soaked for 30 min in hot water and peeled
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 lemon, juice only
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sea salt
A very small pinch of white pepper
Sun dried tomato sauce:
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (vacuum packed and rehydrated if necessary)
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1/2 tsp liquid sweetener, I used brown rice syrup
Sea salt + black pepper, to taste
1 small courgette, cut into thin coins (I used half green and half yellow)
6 medium sized oyster mushrooms, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 handfuls baby greens, I used rocket and lambs lettuce
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly oil it using a paper towel to prevent sticking.
Bring water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan and dissolve the vegetable stock cube in the water. Add your herbs as well. When boiling steadily pour in your polenta while stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir often while the polenta cooks, this takes roughly 5-10 minutes. Refer to the instructions on the polenta you are using if you are uncertain.
When the polenta is cooked quickly pour it onto the parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread it evenly across the pan, I scrape but mainly pat the polenta into shape to prevent making holes in the base. It should be roughly 6-7 mm thick.
Once the polenta is evenly spread place the base in the fridge to set for roughly 30 minutes or longer while you prepare the toppings.
When you are ready to bake the base preheat the oven to 225 degrees celsius and bake it for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. After this initial bake flip it onto an oven rack, this is best done with some confidence and speedy movement. Now the bottom side should be up and you can bake it for another 10 minutes in the middle of the oven like this.
Tofu almond cheese:
Use a food processor to pulse your peeled almonds until it reaches a fine crumble. It will be slightly wet due to the soaking process, this is good.
Add the remaining ingredients to the processor and process until mainly smooth. Taste the cheese and adjust to your liking. Set aside until assembly.
Sun dried tomato sauce:
Use the processor again to process the sun dried tomatoes into a chunky paste. Add the remaining ingredients and process until mainly smooth. Set aside until assembly.
The grilled vegetables:
Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat and lightly oil using a paper towel to prevent any sticking (unless you use a non-stick pan). Place your mushrooms on the griddle and grill for roughly two minutes and then flip and grill another minute before setting aside. Place your courgette coins on the griddle and grill one minute each side and then set aside as well.
Assembling + cooking your pizza:
When your base is cooked and quite crisp place it back onto the parchment paper and tray. Slather with the tomato sauce. Spread the grilled vegetables evenly across the base and then dollop your cheese evenly on top as well. Bake another 10 minutes in the middle of the oven.
Finish your pizza of with a generous helping of your favourite baby greens and serve hot.