I am not one to say that I love eggplant, in fact, I usually go out of my way to not eat it. Trust me, I really wanted to like eggplant but somewhere along the lines I think I have a bad experience with slimy eggplant (yeah, gross.)
Well, while I was leaving the farm yesterday, I saw the most absolutely gorgeous purple basil. I paused, trying to figured out how I could possibly use purple basil in a fun way. That’s when it hit me- a purple pesto for a purple pizza.
What else is purple?
There are red onions (which I consider purple, I mean, that onion is not red!) I had some purple cabbage but somehow I didn’t feel like putting cabbage on a pizza (maybe later), and then I realized eggplant was in season.
Uh, eggplant. Really? That’s all I could think of that was purple and in season?
Okay, I can do this and even if I don’t like the pizza, I can at least say I tried.
I grilled the eggplant and the onions, then I grilled the pizza. From a presentation standpoint, the pizza looked delicious and smelled like I could eat every bite. I still wasn’t sold, I mean, I really didn’t like eggplant, right?
Wrong! This pizza was ahhh-mazing. I couldn’t stop at one piece. In fact, I would be working on my computer and all I could do was think about having another piece of this pizza. So I would get up, eat a piece, sit back down, and then about 20 minutes later I would be thinking about pizza again.
I think I may be an eggplant convert…
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 2 teaspoon honey
- ½-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1½ cup purple Basil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoon water
- divider toppings
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 small red onion
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon cornmeal
- In a bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer) combine water, yeast, and honey- let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast becomes foamy and active. Stir in remaining ingredients except flour. Add a quarter cup of the flour and stir- from there, only add as much flour as you need until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl (I used slightly over a ½ cup but people measure differently.) Once dough pulls together, knead for 4-5 minutes, rub with olive oil, and set aside to rise.
- While dough rises, light grill and prepare the eggplant/onions. Once grill is heated, cook the veggies on the grill, flipping occasionally to make sure you don't burn the veggies. Once cooked through (about 10-15 minutes), dice into bite size pieces and set aside. Also while waiting for the dough, place all the pesto ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and pulse until combined. Add in enough water to make the pesto a spreadable/sauce like consistency, set aside.
- Once dough has risen for 30 minutes, sprinkle cornmeal on a cutting board and roll out dough to about and 8" circle that is about ⅛" thick. Place dough circle on grill and let cook for 8 minutes. If you grill is like mine and is hotter in the back- rotate halfway through. Flip dough over and begin to place toppings on pizza starting the pesto, the adding the mozzarella cheese, vegetables, and finally the Parmesan. Continue to cook until the cheese has melted and the crust has become crispy (another 10-15 minutes.)