Recipe by What's Cooking?
Not your usual pizzas, these polenta rounds are based on a recipe from Bon Appétit magazine (October 2000). The brilliance of this recipe lies in the roasting of the tomatoes with a little sugar, which brings out their full flavor. This is a great side dish, or can be served as an appetizer / hors d'oeuvres. Gluten-free. Kosher: Dairy.
Top Review by BestFriendsStevie
Like to suggest baking the polenta and then cutting the rounds...it's NOT a regular size pizza which previous reviewer failed to note. 1 cup polenta to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water, add salt if using water. Can add cheeses, green pepper, corn if not using for pizza or maybe you would like to...bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour or until firm. Use biscuit cutter or larger mouth jar cutters or whatever works...top and proceed.
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper (I prefer finely ground white pepper)
- 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 8 large plum tomatoes, ends trimmed, each tomato cut crosswise into 3 slices
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3⁄4 cup kalamata olive, pitted and cut in half
- 1⁄2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Directions See How It's Made
- Line rimmed baking sheet (cookie sheet) with foil. Bring 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Slowly add polenta, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 30 minutes or until polenta thickens and pulls away from sides of pan, whisking frequently to remove any lumps.
- Stir in butter, pepper, and 1 teaspoon oregano, combine until smooth.
- Pour cooked polenta onto baking sheet and use spatula or butter knife to spread evenly. It should cover the sheet completely. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).
- While the polenta is cooling, preheat oven to 300°F Line another large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tomato slices in single layer. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, then some salt. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until tomatoes are tender but the slices still hold together, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (Polenta and tomatoes can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated).
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or juice glass, cut out approximately 24 rounds from polenta. Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheet. Place 1 tomato slice on each round and sprinkle rounds with remaining 1 teaspoon oregano. Top each with 2 or 3 olive halves. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake polenta pizzas until heated through and cheese melts (approximately 10 minutes). Serve warm.