Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Pizza is awesome. There are no two ways about it. You have to love pizza in all its forms from brick-oven Italian to huge and thin New York to huge and thick Chicago to general all-around Papa John's/Pizza Hut/Little Caesar's/Hungry Howies/Cici's goodness. What I love most about pizza is its flexibility as a canvas to paint with whatever flavors are hitting your taste buds at the moment. I have posted at least a couple of pizzas I made in 2009 and this is the last from last year: eggplant parmesan pizza.

Whole Pizza

The idea started in the grocery store, where many great concoctions start. I realized that eggplant parmesan had a lot of the same elements as pizza. Two in particular, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, sealed the deal in my mind for this creation. I would make eggplant filets as if I was going to make eggplant parmesan, except I would put it all on a pizza and bake it.

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Anything parmesan is pretty easy. In this case, I sliced an eggplant into 1/2" slices. I salted these to help draw out some of the bitterness. Next, I dunked each slice into eggs and then some seasoned breadcrumbs. I pan-fried them all until they had a nice golden crust. Word to the wise: don't cut your slices too thick or they won't cook all the way through at this point.

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Lastly, you have to assemble the pizza. Spread out the room temperature dough on a baking sheet or pizza pan. We used Trader Joe's whole wheat dough this time. Then spread the marinara sauce. Chop up the cooked eggplant slices into bite-size pieces, then scatter them on top of the sauced crust. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese and any other toppings. We added fresh tomato and chopped basil to enhance the flavors. Bake the pie until the edges are crisp and the cheese is bubbling (time depends on the thickness of the crust, the number of ingredients, etc. The result is a wonderful mix of two Italian favorites. The eggplant comes out crisp on the outside and almost creamy on the inside. All the other classic flavors are there for support as well. See, no matter what you do to pizza, it's almost guaranteed to come out tasty.

No comments: