Friday, August 5, 2011

Grilled Eggplant Pizza

We are growing eggplant in our garden. I LOVE eggplant. It is really one of my favorite things to eat and I don't eat it nearly often enough. At risk of sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump, you can grill it, you can bake it, you can fry it, you can stew it. T'here's eggplant parmesan, eggplant sandwiches, spicy grilled eggplant, eggplant casserole, eggplant ratatouille, eggplant rollatini, stuffed eggplant, eggplant dip (baba ganoush), eggplant and pasta, and eggplant pizza. And that-that's about it.

Ya'll, this eggplant pizza was as good as any gourmet pizza I've ever had in a restaurant. I never make pizza because in my head it seems like it would take a long time. To decrease the amount of time, I bought pre-made dough that was frozen, and then I got it home and realized that it would take forever to thaw and that it had to rise, so I tossed it in the freezer and made my own. And I'm so glad I did.

I used this crust recipe from The Finer Things In Life. Its an easy no-rise crust. The only thing I did different was that I sprinkled cornmeal on my pizza pan rather than greasing it.

If you follow the order that I give for making the pizza, from start to finish it should take about an hour, less if you use a pre-made crust (but not much less!).

Grilled Eggplant Pizza

1 pizza crust (made from this recipe)
2 medium eggplants
3 roma tomatoes
1 bulb garlic
2 handfuls fresh basil
2 tbsp pesto
1/4 cup Prego Ricotta Parmesan sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
cornmeal for dusting pan
Olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices, lay on cooling racks or a colander something similar in the sink to allow them to drain. Sprinkle liberally on both sides with salt. The salt draws the liquid out. Allow to sit until water forms on top of eggplant, then rinse and pat dry. Grill on a HOT grill until softened. You can mix and knead your dough while the eggplant sits.
  3. Cut the stem end off of the bulb of garlic and place it in the center of a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap loosely, and place in oven on your pizza pan (to catch possible drips).
  4. Mix up dough for crust and knead it for about 2 minutes. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes. During this time, you can put your eggplant on the grill brushed with olive oil, slice your tomatoes, and prepare your garlic.
  5. If garlic in oven is fragrant remove, unwrap, and allow to cool. Dust pan with cornmeal. Be sure to remember to check your eggplant because it will cook fast (about 8-10 minutes)! Turn it a couple of times during grilling.
  6. Roll out your pizza dough or just pat it onto your cornmeal dusted pan. Spread pesto and sauce onto crust. Take one handful of basil leaves and place whole on top of the sauce. Get your eggplant off the grill, its probably done now. Cover the entire pizza with one layer of eggplant. Evenly place your sliced tomatoes. Pop the garlic out of the skin and cut if the cloves are too large, otherwise just toss them on. Sprinkle your mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
  7. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. While it's baking, julienne the remaining basil. Remove pizza from oven, sprinkle fresh basil on top and drizzle with olive oil. Slice and serve!
  • This can easily be made without the cheese and with different pizza sauce for a vegan pizza. In fact, I don't think I would miss the cheese, because the pizza has so much flavor!
  • If you don't have a grill, slice your eggplant and bake it until its cooked. You will lose some of the flavor, but it'll still be good.

1 comment:

  1. Looks DELICIOUS!!! You are making me hungry now!!