Eggplant and red pepper pizza

April 16, 2011  • 

 

Back in the kitchen; I don’t know about you, but can you envision a weekend without pizza?

I can’t.


How about this pizza? Instead of the tomato sauce, I made a red pepper sauce; topped it with eggplant instead of pepperoni or sausage. Sprinkled with zaatar brought back from the zaatar fields in south Lebanon but any aromatic herb of your liking will do the trick. The cheese is akkawi, sold at all Middle-Eastern stores, but can be substituted for mozzarella.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Eggplants (if possible get the smaller ones, about 6 inches long)
  • 1/2 cup of red pepper paste or 1 jar of red peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups of water(if using the paste)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (less if it is too much for you)
  • 2 Tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • salt, as needed
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 batch of whole wheat bread dough (see note)

METHOD:

  1. Peel the eggplants, cut into slices (leaving the top attached) and fan out; place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt; set aside for a few hours (or one hour) until the brown bitter juice comes out; pat them dry.
  2. In a saucepan, heat some olive oil and add the chopped onions; fry a few minutes till golden; add the red pepper paste and the water and stir to dissolve the paste; bring the mixture to a simmer, add the pomegranate molasses, garlic, cumin and brown sugar. Let it simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
  3. Cut the cheese into slices (or shred) and set aside; roll out the dough and cut with a cookie cutter into 4 inch circles; grease a baking sheet and pat each circle on the sheet until it spreads a few inches; slather the red pepper paste first, then the cheese the fan out the eggplant; sprinkle with zaatar on top.
  4. Bake in a 500F oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is dry and golden. Sprinkle with olives and serve hot.



Comments

25 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Claudia says:

    What a lovely change – the baby eggplants are so tender. This looks so grand I’d like to plant some eggplant right this minute and if the world was good to me, it would mature by next weekend. Patience… all good things come with patience, right? And this is so very good.

  2. Velva says:

    If I am going to enjoy the flavors of a pizza that you have prepared..Yes, going a week without a pizza, would be difficult. This is beautiful. I love the authentic cheese. The flavors pop out on this pizza.

    Hope your weekend is going well.

    Velva

  3. domi says:

    Bonjour Joumana, cette jolie fleur doit sentir bon la….pizza et elle a l’air drôlement gourmande. Bisous et passe un bon dimanche

  4. meriem says:

    Ta pizza est magnifique. Une manière très originale de présenter l’aubergine et je retiens l’idée du zaatar!! Un week end sans pizza?? pas possible, chez moi c’est tous les fins de semaine. Merci Joumana pour cette très belle idée encore…

  5. bergamot says:

    Like the idea of using red pepper instead of the tomato sauce. A welcome change from the typical pizza.

  6. Barbara says:

    Now that’s art as food, Joumana! What a presentation. And knowing you, it will taste fabulous too. Super idea to use red peppers as the base sauce.

  7. Joanne says:

    It’s been way way way too long since I’ve had pizza. This looks SO GOOD.

  8. Tim Vidra says:

    That is a good looking pie!

    E.A.T.

  9. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Gorgeous presentation. I’ve never seen eggplant fanned out like this on a pizza before. I often add roasted eggplant to my pizza and do declare I shall copy you on this next time!

  10. Min {Honest Vanilla} says:

    Oh red pepper is my new favourite after I learn how to make rouille! Sounds good to me to use this as base instead of tomatoes 🙂 Great idea!

  11. Foodycat says:

    The presentation of those aubergines is magic! So beautiful.

  12. Chiara says:

    Great idea ,red pepper insted of tomatoes,a really hot pizza, I like it! a hug…

  13. RADIA says:

    tres bonne recette, j’aime beaucoup, bravo joumana

  14. Banana Wonder says:

    What a beautiful pizza! I love the way you fanned out the eggplant. I have seen akkawi cheese before when I lived in LA and used to shop at the Armenian grocery store. I could eat this pizza every day!

  15. Katerina says:

    I love pizza and could eat it every day. This Middle Eastern version is something I could easily devour!

  16. Mathai says:

    Mmm! eggplant, cheese and red peppers! can’t think of a better combination. Thats a beautiful pizza.

  17. jantonio says:

    I loved all kind of pizzas, this one is original and so special. I want one.

  18. Joan Nova says:

    Interesting that you add the molasses and brown sugar. I would never think to do that but I bet it’s delicious!

  19. Devaki says:

    I ADORE the way you take the mundane and turn it into something so you….with the zaatar, the wonderfully succulent eggplants and pom molasses, its fantastic! Pizza…this isn’t just any pizza now is it..sigh…

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  20. Nuts about food says:

    I love the way you cut the eggplant! This Middle Eastern-inspired pizza looks delicious.

  21. Cherine says:

    What a fabulous combo!

  22. Mely says:

    I have a bottle of pomegranate molasses this is an opportunity to use it. 🙂

    Love eggplants.

    Mely

  23. grace says:

    i love pizza–the combinations of toppings are utterly endless. nice selection here! 🙂

  24. Magic of Spice says:

    What a great idea to use a red pepper, gorgeous pizza…this is what I want for lunch now 🙂

  25. FOODESSA says:

    I do always enjoy the love and creativity you put in every dish Joumana.
    The pizza looks so inviting ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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