Polenta Pizza with Cajun-Spiced Mushrooms and Zucchini

I’ve had a bag of polenta burning a hole in my cupboard for a couple of months now. When I found a recipe for polenta pizza in the Moosewood Cookbook, I thought it sounded quirky enough to be kind of awesome.

I worked with the polenta base a little bit because I wanted it to be crispy and less like a polenta-based pie or casserole. I also adjusted it to serve 2 as an appetizer or a small meal.

AND I decided to top it with Cajun-seasoned vegetables because something about cornmeal and spicy southern flavors just feels right.

If you don’t keep a good Cajun spice blend in the house, I would highly recommend you make it a priority.  (I like Joe’s Stuff.) It brings a little bit of heat, but mostly just a fabulous punch of flavor. I love it sprinkled on roasted veggies, as a seasoning for salmon, shrimp, chicken, rice…everything. Seriously.

Polenta Pizza (Serves 2)
(adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

Crust
– 1/2 cup polenta
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 1 cup boiling water
– salt
– 1/4 cup Parmesan finely grated

Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F

Bring one cup of water to a boil in a medium pot. Place polenta in a bowl, pour the cold water into the polenta and mix until well combined.
When water is boiling, add the polenta/cold water mixture and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until polenta becomes thick and comes away from the sides of the pot easily.

Remove from heat and stir in salt and Parmesan. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Spread polenta out onto well oiled baking tray.

Bake for 40 minutes until crispy around the edges. Take out and add desired toppings.

Cajun Vegetable Topping
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moon shape
– 1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
– salt, to taste
– cheddar cheese grated (optional)

Heat oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft.

Add zucchini and Cajun seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until softened. Remove from heat and reserve until the crust is ready.

Spread vegetables over crust and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake an additional 10 minutes in the oven.

Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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