Music: Ben Harper, Welcome to the Cruel World
BJ’s first words after eating a slice: “I think this may be the best pizza we have ever made.” It was pretty dang good. I figured I would have to re-open since my haitus with something really good and it doesn’t get any better than the best pizza we have ever made.
Here’s one reason – we cooked the dough for a while before we put the ingredients on. We usually don’t do this because the toppings require cooking too. But since I roasted the eggplant first, I thought I would give the dough a head start too. Good thought because it turned out with incredible flavor and excellent crispy crust.
First layer = tomato sauce, slices of shallots and garlic, crushed red pepper, and fresh basil leaves. At this point BJ said; “I could just eat that!”
But the layering continued…Kalmata olives.
Roasted eggplant slices.
And cheese. Lots of cheese. Good cheese too. Thick slices of Provolone…mmmmmm.
And all those beautiful layers produced this beauty. So, I apologize avid readers (all two of you, ha!) for my absence, but I promise this makes up for it. Enjoy and lots more posts to come this week and I have stockpiled pics and recipes 🙂
Roasted Eggplant Pizza
- 1 small-medium eggplant, ends trimmed and semi peeled (think stripes!)
- S & P
- 1 whole wheat pizza crust
- 1 small can of tomato sauce
- 1 small shallot, sliced into rings
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- Crushed red pepper
- 10 – 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup Kalmata olives, halved
- 5 slices of Provolone cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Slice eggplant into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle slices in EVOO and season with S & P. Place on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Halve the large slices. Set aside.
- Turn oven up to 500 and place pizza stone in oven to warm up. Turn oven back down to 425 after 5 – 10 minutes.
- Roll dough out to desired shape. Place on pizza stone and drizzle with EVOO. Cook dough 8 – 10 minutes until top just begins to brown and bubble. Remove from oven.
- Spread tomato sauce over pizza. Season with S & P and crushed red pepper.
- Arrange slices of shallot and garlic over sauce. Add basil leaves and then scatter olives.
- Arrange eggplant slices. Lastly, arrange cheese slices on top. Drizzle with EVOO , if desired.
- Bake pizza for 20 – 25 minutes until cheese id browned on top and bubble. Let rest for 5 minutes and then dig in!
Music: Regina Spektor, Far – her new album – it’s pretty friggin’ awesome if you haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet. Released on June 23, 2009.
Menu: Pear, pecan, and gouda salad and a big slice of pizza!
Purple cauliflower!!!! I know, crazy! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into the grocery store and saw green and purple cauliflower for $1.50/head; I know, crazy! Anyways, I had just run into the store to grab a few quick things, but I obviously could not resist these puppies.
After much deliberation – au gratin, indian, roasted cauliflower pasta, the list goes on. BJ had the idea of a pizza. Perfect, I thought! So, I made a thick and hearty whole wheat dough. Roasted some garlic, shallots, and the cauliflower and added some feta. It was mighty tasty. Light and healthy, too!
I just can’t get over that it was green and purple! Okay, so what if you had these two lovely heads of colorful cauliflower, what would you make???
Roasted Cauliflower Pizza
- 1 batch of whole wheat pizza dough
- S & P
- 1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into pieces (I used half of each head)
- 1 head of garlic, white skins removed, but keep heads intact
- 1 large shallot, skinned
- 1 tspn. thyme (use less if dried)
- 1 cup feta cheese
- Heat oven to 400.
- Drizzle garlic and shallot in EVOO. Wrap each in tin foil. Place on baking sheet.
- Toss cauliflower pieces with EVOO and S & P in a large bowl until pieces are coated. Place cauliflower on same baking sheet and roast in over for 12 minutes, flipping cauliflower once.
- Remove cauliflower and set aside. Continue roasting garlic and shallot for another 10 minutes.
- Remove garlic and shallot from oven and let cool. Place pizza stone in oven and reduce temperature to 375.
- Carefully remove garlic and shallot from foil. They should lightly browned and squishy. Chop the shallot. Remove each garlic clove by gently squeezing the head. Each clove should pop out easily. Sometimes you have to stick your finger or the tip of a fork to help move it along. Place garlic cloves in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the chopped shallot.
- Add S & P and thyme to garlic mixture. Slowly drizzle in EVOO until the mixture resembles a light sauce.
- Dust pizza peel with cornmeal. Place dough on top of cornmeal. Top with roasted garlic sauce. Then add cauliflower pieces. Lastly, sprinkle pizza with feta.
- Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the stone. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is browned on the bottom and feta is beginning to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice into pieces and serve!