It’s time for another Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge – this time, we’re talking specialty diets. The brief for the specialty diet challenge states: “Catering for special dietary needs doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavour. So whether it is vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan, we want to know your favourite specialty diet recipes.” Even though I don’t have to eat vegan, vegetarian or gluten/ dairy-free, as a recipe developer, it’s always a good thing to experiment and recently, I’ve been working a little bit on vegetarian (and even some vegan) recipes – a vegan chili, vegan chili-stuffed peppers for Jamie Oliver.Com. Today I’m bringing a vegetarian, gluten-free pizza – with a twist – a cornmeal/ polenta crust. I’ve made a polenta-crust pizza before for Mushrooms Canada and I always forget how great it tastes – and what a nice change it is.
This one incorporates some lovely shiitake mushrooms that came in our weekly organic veg box delivery and some roasted red peppers – from our garden! A touch of tomato passata (purée) and some shredded cheese is all you need to make a gorgeous gluten-free vegetarian pizza!
- ¾ cup (120g) polenta
- 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- generous pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake)
- ¾ cup tomato purée
- ¼ cup roasted red pepper slices
- ½ cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
- Bring the stock to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta. Stir until the polenta is fairly thick.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread the polenta mixture onto lightly oiled parchment paper or Silpat placed on a baking tray (my baking tray is 40cm x 28cm and my polenta pizza base measured about 30cm x 22cm).
- Place the tray in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until cool. Meanwhile, you can prepare the topping.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy pan over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms.
- Sautée until the mushrooms are cooked down a little (approx. 5-6 minutes) – you don’t want them overcooked at this stage because you will be cooking them in the oven again on the pizza. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F.
- Remove the polenta base from the fridge.
- Cook the base for 15 minutes.
- Remove the base from the oven and, using a pastry brush, spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the surface of the base.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove base from oven again and spoon over the tomato purée, then scatter the mushrooms and roasted red peppers over the top of the pizza then sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425˚F then broil on high for 5 minutes to make sure the cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before you cut it.
And the result?
This was a lovely light lunch and I can imagine with a fried egg on top, it would make a great breakfast. It re-heats pretty well in the oven (it can get a little rubbery in the microwave) and a nice change from regular pizza. Even if you don’t need to eat gluten free or vegetarian!