Polenta and corn grits are the same thing, and both vary in the size of the grind. You may need more or less water than the recipe suggests. Polenta is really forgiving and it’s hard to get a crust that is too firm or too wet. The worst case scenario is that you’ll want to eat it with a fork. You can’t really go wrong. It is important to add plenty of salt and seasonings to the polenta, or it will taste pretty bland.
I usually use Kite Hill brand vegan ricotta, but Andreea taught me to make my own, which is delicious too. I’ve also been known to mix crumbled tofu with nutritional yeast and vegan cream cheese to make a ricotta-like cheese, but I do strange things sometimes.
I like the pesto, cheese, and herbs raw and find that baking them dries them out, so I add them after cooking or toward the end of baking. I like to brown the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and artichoke hearts on top of the pizza, so I add them on while the crust is baking.
- 3/4 cup dry polenta 4 oz
- 3 cups water more if needed
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning or pesto
- 1 tsp good quality sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Veggie Topping Options
- Artichoke hearts
- Bell peppers
- Sundried tomatoes
- Onions, leeks, or shallots
- Garlic cloves
- Pesto I use vegan pesto, see notes
- Cheese I use plant-based cheese, see notes
- Pine nuts
- Sausage I use veggie sausage
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp Pesto
Condiments & Garnishes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Chopped basil or oregano to garnish
- Red pepper flakes to garnish
- Dried oregano to garnish
- Parmesan or nutritional yeast to garnish
Make the Crust
- Bring the water to a boil and then whisk in the polenta. Stir well to avoid clumps. Add the seasonings and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring often, until thickened. It should be thick enough to hold it’s shape when poured onto a baking sheet, but thin enough to spread with a spatula. Add water as needed to achieve this consistency.
- Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet into your pizza shape of choice. Allow the crust to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, to set.
Assemble & Bake the Pizzas
- Meanwhile, chop the toppings, and make pesto or ricotta if you’re making either of them from scratch.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Spread the tomato sauce over the surface of the pizza. Add the toppings that you want to be browned or roasted, such as mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sausage, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, etc.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before cutting, to let the crust stiffen.
- Top with cheese, pesto, and fresh herbs.