Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eggplant and Ricotta Pizza


I realize this could be a fairly controversial post.  Eggplant is one of those things that you either love or you hate.  There's not much middle ground.  I for one, love it, so I am always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to use it (besides my old standby of grilling).  For some reason ricotta seems to be divisive as well.  I'm not sure why though - I love the creamy texture and flavor it adds to Italian dishes and desserts.  So if you are a ricotta and eggplant lover like me, you'll love this pizza.  It is a simple and straightforward pizza, but it makes for a beautiful presentation and lovely vegetarian dinner.

The recipe calls for either using homemade ricotta or store-bought, but it provides extra instructions if you use a supermarket brand.  I've never made my own ricotta, though I plan to very soon.  The store-bought ricotta needs to be drained for about an hour to remove excess moisture.  So no big deal, you just need to plan ahead.  I even think you could do this the night before and then refrigerate the drained ricotta until you need it.

The eggplant is broiled (or grilled) before it's added to the pizza, which removes excess moisture and gives it a golden-brown color.  I loved the crispy edges of the eggplant, and the flavor played very nicely off of the garlic and Parmesan-infused ricotta.  Adding basil to anything will give it that bright and fresh finish, and this pizza was no exception.  I actually didn't really expect Joey to like this pizza all that much, but he is apparently coming around to eggplant - he even had seconds!

As I've been mentioning a lot lately, Caroline has really developed a love for helping in the kitchen, and she really liked helping with this pizza.  She especially loved helping me stretch out the dough, then dropping dollops of the ricotta onto the pizza.  And even though most people probably wouldn't label this as "kid-friendly" (a term I don't really believe in anyway), she devoured a big slice of it.  I served this with a cherry tomato salad with olives and fresh herbs, and I thought it was a great side dish - I think a simple green salad or roasted asparagus would be great as well.


Pizza with Eggplant, Ricotta, and Basil
adapted from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook
makes one 12-inch pizza
  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the crust
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling
Line a small colander or mesh sieve with several layers of paper towels or a cheese cloth.  Spread the cheese evenly over the paper towels and let drain until thickened and creamy, about 1 hour, stirring a few times to redistribute.   Remove the cheese from the colander and discard the paper towels.

Preheat the broiler.  Trim the top and bottom of the eggplant, and use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel two parallel sides of the eggplant.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Brush both sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Broil, turning once, until golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes.  Set aside.

With the baking stone in the oven, preheat to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

Combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, garlic, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle a pizza peel or large sheet of parchment paper with cornmeal and stretch the dough into a 12-inch circle.  Brush the outer edges of the dough with olive oil.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge (I actually ended up using my fingers to spread it).

Carefully slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and quickly but carefully arrange the eggplant slices on top, overlapping them somewhat to form a flowerlike design.  Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, season with additional pepper, and continue baking until the crust begins to brown in spots, an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool 1 to 2 minutes to allow the cheese to solidify.  Cut into wedges and serve.


46 comments:

Jill said...

This looks beautiful. I cannot wait to make it - I am in the 'love' eggplant boat.

Cooking With Abandon said...

I am in the love it category, but my boyfriend is in the hate it category. Maybe I will make this for lunches at work? Hmmm.

bevvbevv said...

I *love* eggplant pizza! I used to order it once a week when I lived in Italy. I will definitely be making this!

warmvanillasugar said...

I also love eggplant so this post is perfect for me! Yum!

Joanne said...

I fall on the obsessed/passionate about eggplant side of the spectrum so I am so glad to see this recipe! And ricotta? Pshh. That's LOVE baby. Deep serious love.

Karin said...

I love eggplant and so does the hubsta. I will have to add this to my must try list! Looks good JoJo!

Katie said...

This looks amazing! I also posted an eggplant recipe on my blog today so for all you eggplant lovers out there I thought I would share:
http://inthekitchenwithkatie.tumblr.com/

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) said...

The two foods I enjoyed most in Sicily were eggplant (in pasta and pizza alla Norma) and ricotta (in my face as fast as I could shovel it). I looooove the wide slices of eggplant, it's a beautiful effect! I can't wait until we have eggplant this summer and this will surely make an appearance.

Annie said...

I'm totally making this. I love eggplant on pizza.

Fairy Ellis said...

I LOVE eggplant and would have never thought to put it on pizza!!

nicole said...

I love the basil clover on your pizza. beautiful

Rose said...

What do you use for your pizza dough? I looked for a recipe on the blog, but couldn't find it...

sliceofsouthern said...

wowee! this is outstanding!! want some right NOW!

Josie said...

Rose,
I use Cook's Illustrated's pizza dough recipe. I've never posted it on my blog before, but if you google it, I'm sure you can find it. I know other's have used the ready-made dough from Trader Joe's for pizza with good results as well.

florence said...

thank you for this recipe, I've just tried and it's excellent !

Danielle said...

I wanted to let you know that I just posted a variation of this on my "Your Recipe My Kitchen" post today (with a link back to you) stop by and see. Thanks for the inspiration we loved this!!

Lynsey said...

This looks amazing. I'm a huge fan of eggplant and always searching for new recipes that utilize this delicious veggie. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable to pay a quick visit this web page and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this article, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

Stop by my blog post: how to buy a car
Feel free to visit my page - how to buy a car,buying a car,buy a car,how to buy a car bad credit,buying a car bad credit,buy a car bad credit,how to buy a car with bad credit,buying a car with bad credit,buy a car with bad credit,bad credit car loans,car loans bad credit,auto loans bad credit,bad credit auto loans,buying a car bad credit loans,bad credit loans cars,buying a car and bad credit,how to buy a car on bad credit,buying a car on bad credit,loans for cars with bad credit,auto loans for bad credit,buying a car with bad credit,how to buy a car with bad credit

Anonymous said...

Pretty element of content. ӏ simply ѕtumbled upon
уour site and іn aсcession capitаl to ѕay thаt I get
actuallу lοveԁ account youг blοg posts.
Аny waу Ӏ will be subscribіng for уour feeds оr еνen I fulfillment yоu gеt admissіon tο pеrѕiѕtently rapidly.


Feel free to ѕurf to my ωebpаge - secured loans online

Anonymous said...

For lаtest news you have to visit world-wide-web and οn the ωeb I found this web sіte as
a best site for moѕt up-to-date updatеs.


Hеre іs my homepagе ... personal loans uk

Anonymous said...

It's actually a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Take a look at my website :: get fast cash loans

Anonymous said...

It's very simple to find out any matter on web as compared to textbooks, as I found this post at this site.

My weblog pay day loans fast cash

Anonymous said...

Loοks as though my phonе has decіdеd
to work аѕ it should thіs time, I can finallу reply.
If Ι can say, I wouldn't bother myself.

My site :: quick long term loans

Anonymous said...

I've read that many thoughts on this that I couldn't bе more
befuddled.

my blog post: unsecured personal loans

Anonymous said...

So - "Eggplant and Ricotta Pizza" - I wouldn't have thought it would be so good a read as this. Now I must actually go and do some work!

my weblog - Bad credit Personal loans

Anonymous said...

Νot quіtе sure hοω yοu've managed to get by for that long.

My web page: personal loans bad credit

Anonymous said...

Thiѕ has cauѕеd me to wοndеr if there's a couple of areas I could do things a bit better.

Also visit my blog post :: amateur-telescopes.com

Anonymous said...

I hаve ωaѕted all of my day sо far browsing thгough all these aгticles.
Hoωеѵer this is stіll more fruіtful than yestеrday was!
. At least I'll find out something.

Feel free to surf to my webpage - personal loans uk

Anonymous said...

Untіl a colleaguе mentioned this to me I hadn't even considered it possible. Seems like I'm way behind
on the isѕue..

Reѵiew mу wеb site :: http://hoopschooled.com

Anonymous said...

Ooh questіon tіme, do we gеt the сhаnce
tο аsk a challenging question?

Taκe a look аt my site personal loans uk

Anonymous said...

Thе lаst tіme I сame across a website thіs delightful it cost me
my gіrlfriеnd i'm almost positive, I spent that long on it.

my blog fast pay day loans

Anonymous said...

The last time І stumblеd acrοѕs a
ѕite thiѕ rеaԁable it cost me a giгlfгiend i'm sure, I spent that long on it.

Here is my web page :: small personal loans

Anonymous said...

You go οveг this a lot more clearly than I ever could -
ωhich is perhaps ωhy I dоn't have a successful blog.

Feel free to surf to my blog post best loan deals uk

Anonymous said...

Аw, try not to mind. It's the old saying...if it cannot be done, better to do it yourself.

Also visit my web site; wonderchoir.com

Anonymous said...

Until a colleаgue told me about this I hadn't even realized it possible. Seems like I'm ωay behind on the
issuе..

Lοok at my blog рoѕt ... best rate loan

Anonymous said...

I κnow lots of people whо thіs artіclе cοulԁ aρply to.


Here is mу hоmeρage best secured loans

Anonymous said...

Off for a sсаn οn mу fingers soon,
сan barely tуpe with this break. Rly hаrd pressіng the keyѕ properly with
а fractuгed fingeг!?.

My wеb blog unsecured loans

Anonymous said...

Seems aѕ though my phone has ԁeсiԁed tо ωork properly this week, I
cаn finally reрly. Јust to say, I woulԁn't bother myself.

my website :: payday loans fast cash

Anonymous said...

I know ѕomеone who ωould relate tο this.


My ωeb-ѕitе: Best bank loan

Anonymous said...

ӏ know a colleague ωho this ροst cοulԁ apply to.


Feеl fгее tο ѕurf to
my blοg post - best small loans

Anonymous said...

Today's plan is college studying...need to..do some....

Also visit my web-site :: best small loans

Anonymous said...

Aωeѕome issues here. I'm very happy to see your post. Thank you a lot and I'm havіng a loοk ahеad to contaсt
yоu. Wіll уou kіndly drop mе a mail?


Аlѕo viѕit mу web ρage best bank loans

Anonymous said...

Loοκѕ аs though my tablet hаѕ
dесidеd to woгκ properlу thiѕ week, I сan actually see thе reply fοгm.
Juѕt to say, I would nоt botheг mysеlf.


my wеb site; personal loans uk

Anonymous said...

Oh I get іt now! I thоught you meant this tο be
аn optional foolish аdditiоn.

My homepage ... best bank loans

Anonymous said...

Ѕeems likе my tablet hаѕ deciԁed tо ωork as it
should thiѕ weeκ, I can finallу reply.
If I сan say, I ωoulԁ not bothеr myself.



Check out my webpage personal loans bad credit

Anonymous said...

If you're going to do it as well then I won't!
No point comіng up ωіth the same thіng fоr а sесond time.


Feel fгee to surf to my web page :: best bank loan

Post a Comment

 
BLOG DESIGN BY: SHERBET BLOSSOM DESIGNS