I haven't written anything about food for quite some time. I do try to mention recipes that I think might be interesting or different. Or at least interesting or different to me! Have you ever had an eggplant pizza?
Eggplant was just not a vegetable that I grew up eating. I really don't remember seeing them until I was a young housewife and Craig decided to grow some in the garden. I remember we joked about they being an "alien" plant. I really don't recall what I did with the ones we grew.
In recent years as we have explored more and more vegetable dishes, eggplants have found their place in our menus and I have come to like them a great deal. Last week I bought one just because it looked good without any plan. As the days passed, I realized I had better use it before it went bad, so one evening I Googled "eggplant recipes" and studied the list eliminating ones that would require a trip to the store.
Aha! Eggplant Pizza. I make my own crust, I had some homemade pizza sauce in the freezer, and sufficient Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Asiago cheeses to do it. There are almost always other veggies on hand, so I was good to go.
Since I didn't follow an exact recipe, I'll just write about how I made it.
I started a dough in the bread machine in the morning. If I make my dough in the morning and let it proof in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for the day, it seems to be more elastic and less likely to tear when I roll it out. I used half whole wheat and half white bread flour. We seem to like that better than 100% whole wheat.
100% white flour doesn't hold up to grilling as well.
I prepared the other ingredients later in the day. I chopped a red bell pepper and an onion, and sautéed them in a no-stick pan with just a light spray of olive oil.
I cut the eggplant into half-inch-thick rounds and grilled them on medium heat until they had nice grill marks on each side. This took about four minutes on one side and two on the other. I removed the eggplant and while it cooled a bit, I rolled out and grilled the crust.
The best way to make pizza on the grill is to put the undressed crust directly on the hot grill and cook it until one side is crisp. Watch it carefully, and be sure to have poked fork holes all around to prevent big bubbles. In pizza-speak this is called docking. When it develops nice grill marks on the down side, remove it, and flip it grilled side up on the pick or cutting board, spread on the sauce and toppings, and return it to the grill.
|This is not my pizza, but mine looked quite like this one
I used pizza sauce, the sautéed peppers and onions, some extra dried basil (because I didn't have any fresh) and the eggplant slices, which had been cut into strips. I topped it all with a light layer of grated cheeses, and grilled it until the crust edges looked done and the cheese was melted.
It was amazingly good!
I know some of you are eating a more plant-based diet, and I strongly recommend trying eggplant pizza if you don't already have it in your repertoire. You could use a vegan cheese, or none at all.
A really yummy, healthy pizza for a little over $5.00.
Can't beat that!