My eggplant crop this year was pretty skimpy. Some years I get a bounty of eggplant, but this was not such a season.
Fresh, homegrown eggplant is so good, especially my favorite variety, an heirloom white eggplant called “Casper.” But my garden only eked out one of these and two very small Japanese eggplants. I didn’t want to hide my little gems in a ratatouille where they’d be homogenized with all the other veggies. And the quantity definitely wasn’t screaming “main dish.”
So I decided to add them to a pizza. On a pizza, they could still be singled out for their flavor and texture.
This pizza is very easy to put together, especially if you start with premade dough or a frozen crust. You can make your own pesto as the base, or use a store-bought variety. Here’s a vegan version of traditional basil pesto that substitutes miso for the cheese.
Meatless Monday: Eggplant, Tomato & Pesto Pizza
- 1 12-inch pizza crust
- 1 medium to large Japanese (long and slender) eggplant or 2-3 small ones, sliced 1/3-inch thick.
- 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/4-1/3 cup pesto
- If you are using a pizza dough that needs to be rolled out, take it out of the fridge an hour before you plan to roll it out onto your pizza pan and let it rest at room temperature.
- After about 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Meanwhile, brush both sides of your eggplant slices with olive oil and broil until slightly browned. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
- Sprinkle your pizza pan with cornmeal and place your dough ball on the pan. Sprinkle the surface with cornmeal so that you can press it out into the pan without your fingers sticking to it. You can let the dough sit on the pan, stretched out to form, for 10 minutes or more. Of course, if you’re using a frozen crust, instead, follow the directions on the package.
- When you’re ready to put together the pizza, spread pesto over the dough, leaving a 1/2- to 1-inch border.
- Place your tomato and eggplant slices on top of the dough. Top with the kalamata slices, fitting them into the spaces between the tomatoes and eggplant.
- Bake until done, probably about 10-15 minutes.