Eggplant & Basil Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Saturday morning, Jon and I visited the Barr Street Market and picked up some white eggplant, also known as melitzana, which are long and slender vegetables and contain less water than “normal” eggplant. Early Sunday morning, Jon harvested a ton of basil and oregano from the garden, so I decided to make an eggplant and basil pizza. Usually, we use a crust containing yeast that must rise overnight, but this time I found a recipe for a cornmeal crust that was ready in minutes.

 

Overall, the pizza turned out great- the fresh basil, combined with some pesto we made a few weeks ago, really packed a lot of flavor into each piece. The texture and taste of the cornmeal crust, typically used for a mexican style pizza, added interest and ended up complementing the flavors well. In just under an hour, we had a fresh and tasty homemade pizza.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt onto your work surface or in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the water and olive oil. Combine and knead for about 8 minutes until the dough is elastic and shiny. Set aside.

Toppings:

  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 white eggplants, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
Preheat oven to 390 degrees. Grease a pizza tray or baking sheet. Roll the cornmeal dough to less than 1/4 inch thick. In this case, there’s no need for perfection- odd shaped pizzas taste better. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Spread with pesto. Top with tomatoes, then eggplant, basil and oregano. Sprinkle with garlic and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pizza crust is crisp and golden.
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