Food Revolution Ambassador monthly challenge for September 2014: Specialty diets (Gluten Free)

Polenta pizza with mushrooms and roasted red peppers on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’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!

Mushroom and roasted red pepper pizza on a gluten-free polenta crust
Prep time
Cook time
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A pizza with a twist - on a gluten-free polenta (cornmeal) crust.
Recipe type: Pizza
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6
  • 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)
  1. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta. Stir until the polenta is fairly thick.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. 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).
  5. Place the tray in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until cool. Meanwhile, you can prepare the topping.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy pan over high heat.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms.
  8. 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.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F.
  10. Remove the polenta base from the fridge.
  11. Cook the base for 15 minutes.
  12. 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.
  13. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  14. 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.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes at 425˚F then broil on high for 5 minutes to make sure the cheese is golden and bubbling.
  16. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before you cut it.

And the result?

Gluten free Polenta pizza with mushrooms and roasted red peppers on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis 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!


6 thoughts on “Food Revolution Ambassador monthly challenge for September 2014: Specialty diets (Gluten Free)”

  1. This looks great and not just for vegan/gluten free diets. I would have never thought to add an egg on top to make a tasty breakfast out of it…good idea!

  2. There’s a great Ottolenghi recipe with this in “Plenty” (I think I may have made it in France last year??). I love the tallegio on that recipe and it would go well on this I think. I also love a fried egg with polenta. delicious!!!

  3. That looks wonderful. I know when I’m looking for g-f recipes for Kevin, I often prefer things that aren’t trying to replicate gluten-y foods (though that can be great, too). A polenta crust stands on its own as a delicious base. And with some Daiya “cheese” it would be vegan, too.


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