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It's quite a shock to be told you can no longer eat bread, the staff of life. If you're a huge fan of Italian food, it's also a bit devastating. Which is why I set out to replace most of my favorite dishes (many of them originating in Italia) as soon as I was diagnosed with celiac disease—first stop, the almighty appetizer.
This gluten-free substitute for a crusty crostini was a bit of a no-brainer since polenta is also such a lovely Italian staple. You can buy gluten-free pre-made polenta (recommended for quickly getting the food right into your belly) or make your own with gluten-free corn meal. Slice the gf polenta into rounds and top it however you please. I prefer pesto topped with more Parmesan, but you do you.
Gluten-Free Crostini with Pesto
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
1 roll pre-cooked gluten-free polenta
Olive oil spray
2 cups fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice roll of gluten-free pre-cooked polenta into 1 1/2 inch rounds.
2. Spray baking sheet with olive oil and place polenta rounds on sheet, evenly spaced. Spray the tops of the polenta rounds with olive oil spray and bake for 15 minutes.
3. While polenta is baking, place basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, and pine nuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined, and a bit thicker than a sauce.
4. Remove polenta rounds from the oven and place one spoonful of pesto on each round. Return to oven and cook for five more minutes.
5. Remove polenta from oven, and transfer rounds to serving dish. Grate fresh parmesan over the tops and serve.