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