Margherita Polenta Pizza Bites
The pizza "crust" in this recipe is ready-made polenta, typically found packaged in a tube. It's one of my favorite shortcuts in camp, since it beats stirring a pot of cornmeal on the stove until it turns into porridge. Unlike polenta made from scratch, prepared polenta starts out firm, which work to our advantage here. By frying the polenta in a pan, the base of these mini margherita pizzas get just the right amount of crispy on the bottom while staying soft and chewy on the inside. They're filling without giving you that too-full feeling!
- 1 18 oz. tube prepared polenta sliced into 12 rounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup store-bought pizza sauce
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced into 12 rounds
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 2 large plum tomatoes sliced into 12 rounds and drained
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Spread the polenta rounds on paper towels to drain excess moisture for about 15 minutes, then pat dry with more towels.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around to coat the surface.
- Arrange the polenta rounds in a single layer and cook undisturbed until the edges begin to crisp and the bottoms are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Flip the polenta and top each polenta round with 1 tablespoon sauce, 1 mozzarella slice, 1 basil leaf, and 1 tomato slice. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if desired.
MIX IT UP Try other toppings on the polenta crusts, such as pesto, barbecue sauce, pepperoni, olives scallions, fresh or marinated bell peppers, artichoke hearts, cooked chicken, and shredded Cheddar. From The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet Grub for Campers, Road Trippers and Adventurers by Linda Ly (page 124).