Friday, January 28, 2011

Polenta Pizza in a Cast Iron Fry Pan

Polenta, in case you don't know, is basically a corn meal mush eaten much like mashed potatoes and is often served with saucy dishes.  In the north of Italy it is served instead of pasta or rice.  Made firmer it can be sliced and used as a base for appetizers and other foods.  It is quick to prepare.  Here it is used for the base of a pizza prepared in a cast iron fry pan.  Polenta (corn meal) is considered a whole grain and an easy one to get people of all ages to enjoy.  I used an organic polenta.

The toppings below work in foods from last summer's garden.  It is a pizza type dish so you can use favourites and what you have on hand.  During the winter red peppers are expensive and I reach for my frozen roasted red peppers.  At this point I am all out so I bought a jar of roasted red peppers at the store.  It would be easy to convert this recipe to vegan if you don't eat cheese.


Metric Measure
1 Tbsp
15 ml
Olive oil
¾ cup
175 ml
Polenta, fine (corn meal)
¼ tsp
1.25 ml
Salt, sea
3 cups
750 ml
Water, cold
1 Tbsp
15 ml
Olive oil
1 cup
250 ml
Tomato sauce – pizza or pasta, preferably home-made
2 cups
500 ml
Mozzarella cheese, grated (I used Thornloe cheese)
½ cup
125 ml
Onion, red, diced or cut into slivers
1 each
1 each
Pepper, red – fresh or roasted
1 cup
250 ml
Zucchini, grated
2 Tbsp
30 ml
Romano cheese, grated
½ tsp
2.5 ml
Oregano, dried (sub 2 tsp fresh if you have it)
½ tsp
2.5 ml
Basil, dried (sub 2 tsp fresh if you have it)
½ tsp
2.5 ml
Chile pepper flakes, red, hot, dried - to taste (optional)


Preheat oven to 400'F.
1.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Pour in a tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil and heat to coat pan.  Turn pan so oil goes up sides.  Use a fry pan approx 11-12 inches.  You can use a non-stick skillet, a pie plate or other baking dish instead.  Don't heat a baking pan or pie plate just spread the oil and proceed (duh!).

2. Combine polenta, salt, and 3 cups water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 5 minutes, or until polenta is thick.

Spread polenta in prepared skillet.

Place in oven, and bake 25-30 minutes, or until beginning to brown on sides.  Time varies based on how hot your oven is.

3. Remove skillet from oven, and spread polenta with a pasta or pizza sauce. I froze a lot of tomatoes last summer.  The sauce I am using below are the frozen tomatoes that I reduced by half.

Top with half of grated mozzarella. Spread finely sliced onion, roasted red pepper and grated zucchini over cheese.  Top with the rest of the cheese, then the grated Romano cheese finishing with the dried herbs and hot pepper.   I used some of the chile I dried from last summer's garden.

Below I drained frozen grated zucchini from last summer's garden.  I save the zucchini water for use in soups.

Here the zucchini is nicely drained and ready for use on my pizza (below).

Below in the upper right hand corner is a partial photo of polenta in a tube.  In Ontario we can buy 1 kg tubes by "Aurora" but I am sure there are many brands.  They can be sliced and used for polenta pizza rounds instead of the soft polenta above.

Looking good - ready for the oven.

4.  Return to oven, and bake another 20-30 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are crisp. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Delicious and I will make it again for sure!

Nutrition Facts (per 1/6th of recipe – 340 grams)

Total Fat (g)
Saturated Fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Carbohydrate (g)
Fibre (g)
Sugar (g)
Protein (g)
%Daily Values
(530 mg)
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Tastefully yours,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc
Chapman's Landing Cooking Studio

My next cooking class at Chapman's Landing is "I’m a Slow Cooker” on Saturday February 5th.  Please see my menu and register online.

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