It’s fall, and officially football season. Which is a big deal at our house – not myself, necessarily, mostly my boyfriend. And it’s not just Sunday – it’s also Monday, and Thursday and don’t forget college football on Saturday.
It’s kind of nice because summer always feels like a whirl wind; no one is home, we’re with friends, or at the beach, or both. It’s difficult to blog in the summer because no one wants to spend all Sunday inside, especially with a hot oven.
But fall comes (at least I’m hoping it’ll come soon – it has been deathly hot in Los Angeles this past week) and football starts and we have a reason to stay home.
Football season also means lots of game time snacks. We usually do lots of chips and salsa, or guacamole. I’ve recently been trying to kick things up while also being a little more calorie conscious (like these quinoa crusted buffalo strips).
Last Sunday I made these mini polenta pizzas and they were gone before I knew it. Instead of using regular pizza dough, used some polenta that I cooked with vegetable stock and seasoned with Italian seasoning. Then I made a few different topping options and mixed and matched for each little pizza.
I did a margarita pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Anther variation involved sausage, red onion and mushroom (I love mushrooms) and the last one was a white pizza that had a garlic-olive oil sauce and was dotted with ricotta and fresh mozzarella.
These cooked up quickly and were quite delicious! I really thought I might miss the traditional chewy, dough crust – but I really didn’t!
A few key things when making the polenta crust is to make sure you spread your polenta thin enough that it’ll by crisp from middle to end, but thick enough that your pizza won’t fall apart – about 1/4″ worked best for me. Also, make sure to pre-bake your crust 20 minutes before adding your toppings. This could be done earlier in the day and then set aside until your ready to add toppings and bake again.
These could quickly be turned extra healthy by omitting the cheese and adding tons of veggies and some lean protein – but I’m not ready to go that far yet.
- 1 cup corn grits, also called polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- Assorted Pizza Toppings (I used basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese for one - red onion, mushroom, sausage and shredded mozzarella cheese for a second - and basil, fresh mozzarella and ricotta for the third)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, combine corn grits (polenta), vegetable stock, olive oil and Italian season and stir with a whisk.
- Continuing cooking, stirring occasionally until polenta is thick and all liquid is absorbed. The polenta will bubble and splatter while cooking. If it seems too thick, add more vegetable stock until mixture is thick, but still spreadable.
- Immediately spoon polenta into small circles, about 4" in diameter and ¼"thick, flattened with the back of a spoon if necessary.
- Let polenta sit 15-20 minutes. This helps firm up the crusts.
- Bake polenta crusts for 20 minutes. The edges should start to become slightly golden and become a little crisp.
- Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
- Top pizza with sauce, desired toppings and cheese.
- Bake 8-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.