Polenta Pizza with Mushroom, Leek and Mascapone

A polenta base pizza with fresh creamy pesto, soft leeks, mushrooms and mascapone cheese.

What cheese do you use to hide a horse? Mask-a-Pony. (Wheyy)

I have been extremely intrigued by polenta lately, so I thought I would try it in something which I love; Pizza.

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Polenta is gluten free, so this pizza is a lot less bloating. It is also so easy and cheap to make. So next time you reach to ring up dominos, think twice and make this instead! Unless you wan’t stuffed crust, I admit that stuffed crust is hard to beat.

I was a bit scared making this base from scratch because I had never cooked with it. I have experienced some horrid kitchen disasters and I had a gut feeling that this could be an addition to the list… but it went surprisingly well so clearly anyone can do it.

You will need:

For the base

  • 500 ml veg stock
  • 300 g dried polenta
  • pinch garlic salt
  • tsp oregano
  • tsp dried basil

For the topping

  • 1 leek
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 2 tbs mascapone
  • 1 tbs fresh pesto (or the jar stuff)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 50g grated cheese

1) Bring your stock to boil before adding the polenta, herbs and salt. As you add your polenta keep stirring the mix untill it forms a sort of bright yellow dough

2) Find a saucepan or large round tin and press the doughey mix into it, then leave it in the fridge. Mine looked like this, but don’t use foil like me! It made the bottom of the base soggy not crispy:

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3) Pop it in the fridge for 30 mins. When its cooled you can begin to make your topping. All you need to do is fry the leek, garlic and mushrooms in a pan until they have softened. Then spoon your pesto on to the base and spread it around. Next chuck on your garlic, leeks and mushrooms, before finally spooning on the mascapone and grated cheese.

4) Put it in the oven in the pan you used at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

You can pretty much top this with anything you like! But I loved this combo. You could also add toasted pinenuts, or avocado like me when it is cooked. Let me know if you have ever tried polenta and know any great dishes, it is still so alien to me! And let me know if you try it, I would love to see what you think.

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Polenta, Roast Veg and Halloumi Salad

This salad is a marriage of the italians and the greeks.

Polenta, Roast Veg and Halloumi Salad- The vegaquarium

Halloumi is a greek goats cheese, but it isn’t squishy and hairy like regular goats cheese. It has a salty taste and a rubbery texture and it is my favourite cheese ever.

Polenta is a cornmeal based carb, and it is loved by the italians. It has a squidgy texture that crisps off in the frying pan. I have never cooked with it before but it is so versitile! You can grill, fry, boil and best of all for us students, you can microwave it. It is the yellow rectangular stuff in the picture above!

You will need:

  • Polenta- looks like this and is fun to squish

Polenta, Roast Veg and Halloumi Salad- The Vegaquarium

  • Halloumi sliced
  • Lemon
  • Chilli flakes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Courgette
  • Salad leaves
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Ready made polenta- sliced

1) First roast your veg. I roasted mine but also made my Lemon Salted Courgettes because I am slightly obsessed! Cooking the halloumi and polenta takes only about 10 mins so wait till your veg is roasted before you procede.

2) Glug about 2 tbs of oil into a frying pan and heat it till it sizzles. Then start to fry the halloumi and polenta slices. Add them neatly so they don’t over lap so that it is easy to flip over each slice so that they are crispy on both sides. Squeeze into the pan 1 half of a lemon and chilli flakes to taste while they fry off.

3) Meanwhile prep your salad leaves and anything else you may want- cucumber, olives, carrot, sweetcorn, avocardo, you get the idea. Then put your roast veg and courgettes on top.

4) Place the halloumi and polenta on the salad and drop on some greek yoghurt.

My verdict on polenta after this salad is that it is definitely one to try! It has a really different texture and compliments any flavours you put with it. I am soon to blog my dinner tonight which is a pizza with polenta base!

Polenta, Roast Veg and Halloumi Salad