Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pesto polenta bruschetta

I gave you a little teaser yesterday and now here it is….pesto polenta bruschetta.

The perfect light lunch option, it’s also a lovely twist on tradition since the polenta offers a tasty gluten free alternative to traditional crusty bread.

The recipe is pretty simple, but it’s more the concept that I was going for really. The idea of using polenta as a bruschetta base delicately flavoured with pesto and then topped with a pesto coated bruschetta medley. Perfectly delicate (dare I say it ‘summery’) flavours, you could mix and match with other ingredients to suit your tastes.

The polenta is simply made mixed with water according to the packet instructions. Just add a dollop of pesto to the mixture too. I used quick cook polenta and whipped it up in 3 minutes in my Thermomix, but it would also work in exactly the same way on the hob- just keep stirring until it thickens.

You don’t need to be too precise with the topping ingredients, below is just a guide so just throw in what feels right!

This really does seems like a summery dish, why is that?  What makes some foods comforting winter dishes, like my sweet potato coconut curry or chickpea and lentil soup, and some foods much more ‘spring’ like? Well I am going for the spring option today, we’ve had some glorious warm weather recently although I haven’t spent much time outside in it, and the daffodils are well and truly emerging now.

Spring is most definitely in the air…happy times!

Recipe: Pesto polenta bruschetta

Serves 2-4


Quick cook polenta
Water (amount varies depending on how much polenta used- see polenta packet instructions)
2-3 tbs pesto divided between polenta and the topping
1 onion- chopped finely
2 handfuls tomatoes- chopped
Half a red pepper- chopped
2 handfuls spinach
A few sprigs of fresh basil
Vegan parmesan- optional


Cook the polenta according to the packet instructions and then pour/spoon immediately into a lined loaf tin (size based on the amount of polenta you’ve cooked up). Allow to cool and set in the fridge.

Once set, cut into 1cm thick slices before frying on a griddle for approx. 5 minutes. each side to achieve a slightly golden crisp coat (mine should have had a little longer ideally). You couod oven bale the polenta. Note any extra polenta can be stored in the fridge for a few days prior to its second cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare the bruschetta topping by combining all the remaining ingredients and toss together with the remaining tablespoon of pesto. 

If serving the polenta hot, heat the topping through before spooning over.  Alternatively, both polenta and topping can be served cold.

Dust with a little vegan parmesan if desired.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.


  1. i love polenta! i haven't made it in forever, but i love this version! it totally makes sense to use it as a gluten-free alternative to bruschetta!

  2. Thank you, that's exactly what i thought too! :-)

  3. Yum! I don't actually think I've ever cooked with polenta... but after seeing this I have got to give it a try! Bruschetta is my all-time favorite summer lunch.

    1. yes you should definitely give polenta a go, its so easy and versatile as you can flavour it however you like!

  4. Wow this look delish...I love polenta in every way!! Gonna try out tomorrow!!

    1. Yay, would love to hear how you get on!


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