polenta pizza and an introduction!

July 19, 2011
We have a new face and official taste-tester here at forgivingmartha and I'm so happy to introduce her to you! Alanna, who hails from Arizona, was a friend-of-a-friend that I met while living in New Jersey.

She moved to Texas for school and has remained here post-graduation because of her undying love for Austin. I immediately looked her up as soon as I was in the city limits and it's been nothing but love between us since! For forgivingmartha, Alanna proudly represents so-called regular folk who may have never heard of crazy things like quinoa, nutritional yeast or xanthan gum. I've been forcibly pushing her out of her box and so far, she's approved of all she's tasted. So from time to time, when Alanna is around for review, you can rest assure that if she says it's good... then anyone will like it!

This pizza's crust is made from polenta, which is basically ground corn and is typically found in Italian dishes.  Once cooked and baked, it becomes a crispy crust that is perfect for a healthy alternative to traditional pizza.  
In making this pizza vegan, I didn't use cheese, though this is something you could absolutely add should that not be a concern of yours.  Instead, I sprinkled some Vegan parmesan!  For toppings, I chose a simple mushroom and basil, but as any pizza goes, the possibilities are endless.   
And polenta pizza?  Alanna approves!

Polenta Pizza with Fresh Basil and Mushrooms
vegan, gluten-free
1 cup polenta
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
A handful of basil leaves
A handful of mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
pizza sauce, marinara, or this! 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegan (or regular) parmesan, for dusting (nutritional yeast could work as well)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the polenta according to packet instructions. Immediately turn the hot polenta into well-oiled (8-inch) round baking stone and spread into an even layer. 
  3. Top with the mushrooms and tomatoes. 
  4. Blend the basil with the oil and garlic and drizzle over the pizzas. Season and dust with parmesan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned in patches. 
  6. Serve immediately and bon apetite!