Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eggplant Pizza

The inspiration for this pizza came from our local pizza place (Caesar's, not Little Caesars).  They have a cheese pizza topped with eggplant that I love.  It kind of reminds me of a much lighter eggplant parmigana in pizza form.  The eggplant from Caesar's is very lightly breaded, but I decided to skip that step.  Luckily we had an eggplant from the CSA sitting in our crisper drawer along with all of the baby arugula (also from the CSA) that we used for our White Pizza with Arugula.  I'm really trying to do my best to use up all of the CSA produce in our fridge, hence our two pizza pizza night.  Regular eggplant is something that I have never been a huge fan of (instead I tend to prefer the longer, skinner Asian eggplants), but I have recently discovered that it can also be delicious so I am determined to try it out more.  I have several recipes for eggplant that I have been wanting to try.  And now that eggplant is in season, I'm hoping that we get several more of them from the CSA in the weeks to come so I can try all of my new recipes out!

Anyway, this pizza was Alex's favorite from our recent pizza night.  I took a few shortcuts and used Mario Batali's canned Arrabiata Pasta Sauce.  It is one of our absolute favorite canned pasta sauces, with a nice fresh tomatoey flavor and just the right amount of heat.  I used some of the fresh local mozzarella that I picked up for the white pizza, along with the eggplant and some fresh basil (also from the CSA).  I brushed the eggplant with the garlic oil that I made for our white pizza and I think that was a great touch.  Then I topped the whole thing with parm-reg.  Yum.

Recipe after the jump!

Eggplant Pizza

1 ball pizza dough (you can buy it at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or at your local pizza parlor)
1/4 cup canned Arrabiata pasta sauce
fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
garlic oil
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano
fresh basil leaves

Add a pizza stone to the middle rack of your oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. 

Roll pizza dough out with a rolling pin on a well-floured surface until roughly between 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch thick. Move pizza to a pizza peel (or a wooden cutting board or an upside down cookie sheet) that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Spread pasta sauce onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border bare for the crust. Season liberally with s&p. Top sauce with fresh mozzarella. Layer eggplant slices on top of the mozzarella. Brush eggplant with garlic oil. Sprinkle lightly with additional s&p. Top pizza with parm-reg.

Line up far edge of peel or cookie sheet with far edge of pizza stone and tilt peel or cookie sheet, jerking it gently to start pizza moving.  Once edge of pizza touches stone or tiles, carefully pull back peel or baking sheet, completely transferring pizza to the pizza stone (do not move pizza).  If you're really skilled you can do this with your pizza stone in the oven.  We had to take the pizza stone out and do it on the stove top.

Bake pizza 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Transfer pizza to a cutting board.  Top with fresh basil and additional parm-reg (if desired).

Slice and serve.

Garlic Oil
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
By Ina Garten

1/2 cup evoo
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

Place olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.

No comments:

Post a Comment