I can't decide if this is the best appetizer or meal. These tiny little polenta pizzas are impossible to stop eating, so I'm leaning toward meal, but the bite-size lends itself to sharing. So I'm torn. I'll just let you all decide. Either way, these are incredibly easy to make and truly so delicious! You could top these little pizzas with anything you like, but if you've got some tiny tomatoes around, I highly recommend the following recipe as everything can bake all together, making meal prep a breeze.
Next time I make these though, I def want to try and make mini vegan pepperonis for these – as that sounds both tasty and SO cute. :)
I've gotten a bunch of different sized tomatoes in my last few CSA boxes, so I'm all about finding fun ways to use tomatoes right now. This is definitely a good one. And if you've never gotten into polenta before, you must give this a try! We're using precooked polenta (cornmeal), so this is something that literally anyone could make, and bonus points that it's gluten free. 🙂
18 oz. package of polenta, usually found in the refrigerated section (see above)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (or other cooking oil you prefer)
1 heaping cup cherry or mini tomatoes (sometimes called sangria tomatoes)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Peel off the polenta packaging and pat dry. Slice into thin rounds, about 1/4 inch each (or slightly thinner is OK too). Gently brush each with oil, you'll use about 1 tablespoon total. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Now place both baking sheets in an oven that has been preheated to 450° for 25 minutes. After the initial 25 minutes, remove the polenta from the oven and flip each round. Rotate the pans and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. The polenta should just begin to look very brown and crispy on the edges. The tomatoes will look very juicy (see below).
Remove both pans from the oven. Top the polenta with tomato sauce (or pesto) and the cheese. Pop those back in the oven for 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts. Now top each with the oven roasted tomatoes.
If you have a little Parmesan or fresh basil, those make excellent additions as well. These are crispy on the outside but still just a little soft at the centers and oh so good – make these for your next movie night at home! xo. Emma
P.S. If you love polenta, you could also try this baked polenta tomato salad. Mmmmm!
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.