Guest Post: Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms by eat. live. travel. write.

We’ve got a guest in our kitchen today! We are very happy to welcome back Mardi of She’s sharing a beautiful recipe for one of my all-time favourite foods, PIZZA! 

Hi, I’m Mardi, author of the blog eat. live. travel. write. and I’m excited to be back here at Mushrooms Canada to share a recipe where mushrooms truly are the star.

One of my favourite cool weather dishes is a bowl of creamy polenta topped with mixed, sautéed vegetables and cheese and this is a variation that I feel works better in warmer weather (because a bowl of polenta can be a little heavy when it’s hot outside!). I’ve used the polenta as a pizza base and topped it with a very simple combination of mushrooms, tomato purée and cheese. The mushrooms really shine here and I love the colour of the bright yellow polenta against the earthy mushrooms. Best of all? This dish can be prepared from start to finish in about an hour – perfect for anytime, not just “pizza night” !

Polenta pizza with mushrooms by Mardi

Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 4)
¾ cup (120g) polenta
2 cups (500ml) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
generous pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
227g (8oz) fresh mushrooms (I used a combination of shiitake and button)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried herbs (I used Herbes de Provence, you could use oregano, basil or thyme)
¼ cup (60ml) tomato purée
150g (5oz) grated cheese (I used Manchego, though any hard cheese that melts well will be fine)

1. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta. Stir until the polenta is fairly thick (you might have to cook this for up to 10 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Spread the polenta mixture onto lightly oiled parchment paper or Silpat placed on a baking tray (my baking tray is 40cm x 28cm and my polenta pizza base measured about 30cm x 22cm)
5. Place the tray in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until cool. Meanwhile, you can prepare the topping.
6. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over high heat.
7. Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms, garlic and dried herbs.
8 Sautée until the mushrooms are cooked down a little (approx. 8 minutes) – you don’t want them overcooked at this stage because you will be cooking them in the oven again on the pizza. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
9. Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F.
10. Remove the polenta base from the fridge.
11. Cook the base for 20 minutes.
12. Remove the base from the oven and, using a pastry brush, spread small amount of olive oil over the surface of the base.
13. Spoon over the tomato purée, then scatter about ¾ of the cheese over the top of the purée.
14. Scatter the mushrooms over the top of the pizza then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
15. Bake for 10 minutes at 425˚F then broil for 5 minutes to make sure the cheese is golden and bubbling. 16. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before you cut it.
17. Optional: sprinkle with fresh basil to serve.

Polenta pizza with mushrooms by Mardi for
Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write – a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She’s also a cook, baker, traveller, photographer, writer, Food Bloggers of Canada co-founder, Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto and in her spare time (!) teaches French pastry classes (focussing on macarons) around Toronto.

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