You may know polenta mainly as a creamy, hot side dish served with italian food, but polenta is much more versatile than that. It gets quite firm when it cools down, so you can easily cut it in shapes and use it as a gluten-free base for hearty slices, veggie burgers and the like. This recipe uses this quality of polenta to make hearty, pizza-like slices that you can eather serve hot or cold. They are perfect for taking to uni or work with you, and you can use whatever vegetable you have at hand for the topping.
- 60 g polenta
- 240 ml water
- 3 tablespoons tomato passata
- 3-5 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ajvar
- 2 small tomatoes
- 1 small courgette
- some black olives
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- some fresh garlic (or garlic powder)
- vegetable oil
Heat the 240 ml water in small pot and stir in the polenta. Stir well to avoid the formation of any lumps. Reduce the heat and let the polenta simmer for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, mix a tomato sauce from tomato passata, water, ajvar, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. (You can also use leftover pasta sauce if you have some handy.) Wash and clean the vegetables and cut into thin slices.
When the polenta is done, turn of the heat and stir once more to make sure there aren’t any lumps in it. Lightly oil a small baking dish and pour in the polenta. Distribute evenly with a spoon and leave for a few minutes, this will allow the polenta to set and become firm so you can cut up into slices later. Start preheating the oven and top the polenta with tomato sauce and cover with a layer of tomato slices. Finish with the courgette and olive slices. Mix about one teaspoon of oil with some water and brush the vegetables with the mixture, this will avoid the toppings from burning in the oven.
Put the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 180° C or until the vegetables start slightly to brown. Remove from the oven and cut into slices. Serve hot or cold with a fresh, crisp salad.
Note: This recipe makes about 2 servings – perfect for a single dinner and a packed lunch on the next day!