CSA 2009, Week Eleven.

Another CSA box, another damn eggplant to use up.*

Eggplant PizzaEven though I love moussaka, even I couldn’t seriously consider making the dish again, less than two weeks apart.  What I did do, though, was my take cue from Guillaume’s recipe, and broiled thin slices of eggplant; rather than layer them with spiced lamb, I overlapped them onto a pizza.  I had a red pepper in the fridge and decided to roast it in order to intensify its flavor.  After topping it all off with some cheese, dinner was all set — and I think it’s safe to say that I have thus conquered the eggplant.

A few things of note about this dish:

  • My mistrust of yeast remains firmly intact.  I have yet to make my own dough, or anything that involves yeast.  Maybe this will change in the future, maybe this won’t.  We shall see.
  • Making your own pizza sauce is easy.  This seems like a good recipe, though one I have not tried.  Please keep me posted if you do.
  • I was crazy to make pizza on such a hot day, and my oven warmed the entire apartment even more.  Please be smarter than me and try it on the grill!

Eggplant + Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
Makes six to eight portions

1 pre-made pizza crust
½ cup pizza sauce
1 red pepper
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves
Olive oil

  1. Roast pepper.  If you’re using a gas stove, turn the flame up to high and place the pepper directly over fire, otherwise use oven’s broiler.  Using tongs, rotating the pepper occasionally, until the pepper’s skin blisters and blackens all over.  Transfer the roasted pepper to a paper bag; crimp the bag shut and allow the pepper to steam inside, then cool down.
  2. While the pepper cools, broil eggplant slices.  Turn broiler on high.  Lightly oil a baking sheet; garlic-infused oil is particularly nice, but not necessary.  Arrange as many eggplant slices as can fit over the surface of the baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil for five minutes six to eight inches from heat.  Remove from baking sheet to a plate, and repeat as needed until all the eggplant slices are done.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°; when the temperature is reached, prebake the pizza crust.  If you’re using pizza dough, roll it out on the baking sheet you used for the eggplant, otherwise plop down the pizza crust onto the sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden and crisp up just a bit.  Move the baking sheet to the top of the stove or onto a trivet to cool.
  4. Remove the roasted pepper from the bag and use a knife to scrape its skin off.  Cut off the stem, slice the pepper open lengthwise and use your knife to scrape out seeds.  Julienne the pepper and set aside.
  5. Spread pizza sauce over the crust with a spoon.  Top with eggplant slices, mozzarella, red pepper and Parmesan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the crust is a uniform golden brown. Sprinkle with basil before serving.
* The rest of our box contained cilantro, cucumber, collards, fennel, garlic, parsley, potatoes, salad mix, sweet onion and tendersweet cabbage.