Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lavash Pizza with Eggplant and Arugula

What do you do if you're home alone for the weekend and you have a little bit of a lot of different produce in the fridge to use up?  You come up with a variety of salads, sides, and lavash pizzas!  And you order sushi on Friday night when you just don't like cooking.  But as a trade off, you make a deal with yourself to cook/eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at home on Saturday.  This recipe started as a way to use up some eggplant, basil and cherry tomatoes.  While I was at Zabar's this morning it occurred to me that I could make a lavash pizza.  So I picked up some whole grain lavash (it's that resolution to eat healthy again), some smoked mozzarella and some more arugula.  And then I decided to go ahead and wing it for dinner.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm pretty into winging it.  Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn't.  But I always have fun along the way.

This recipe worked out pretty well.  Lavash pizza is such a great alternative to making pizza at home.  This lavash pizza was basically a less labor intensive combination of two pizza recipes we have made in the past - Eggplant Pizza and White Pizza with Arugula (which wasn't my intention going into it, but was what resulted).  I didn't want to go to the effort to make a garlic oil (although that would have been absolutely delicious here) and I wanted to use up my cherry tomatoes rather than use a canned tomato sauce.  And I certainly didn't want to go to the trouble to roll out pizza dough.  In the future I would prob throw a little Parmigiano-Reggiano on top of the eggplant slices on the pizza for an additional level of its nutty, salty flavor.  And I would probably whip up some of the garlic oil, because it went so well on the eggplant last time.  Minced garlic and a drizzle of evoo works fine in a pinch, but it just can't compare.  Otherwise, I think it all worked out pretty well for a dish I cobbled together on a whim with the random produce in our apartment!  Speaking of random produce, I went to the farmers' market again today and picked up some more...  I really do have a problem.  So stay tuned.

Recipe after the jump!

Lavash Pizza with Eggplant and Arugula

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
2 8-inch square soft whole wheat or whole grain lavash
2 small cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup coarsely grated mozzarella
1/4 cup coarsely grated smoked mozzarella
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp fresh basil, torn into small pieces
2 cups arugula
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400°.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with kosher salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels and season with s&p. Heat a large saute pan over moderately high heat. Add 1 tbsp evoo. Once oil is hot, add eggplant slices. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping once halfway through, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from skillet.

Brush 1 tsp evoo on each lavash. Arrange on large rimmed baking sheet. Top with garlic, mozzarella, eggplant slices and smoked mozzarella. Bake until cheese melts and lavash is crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Toss arugula, 1 tsp evoo, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mound salad over pizzas.


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