Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My New Favorite Pizza!

I have been on a complete fried eggplant kick these days. I think it has stemmed from recently visiting Tod English’s restaurant Figs in Boston where they have an eggplant pizza. This pizza is so amazing I had to use all my will power not to eat the entire thing. Since then I have tried time and time again to recreate the perfect fried eggplant pizza. This recipe comes pretty close and is absolutely heavenly!

  • For the Eggplant:
  • 3 TBS Canola Oil
  • 1 medium eggplant – cubed into 3/4 inch pieces (roughly 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 TBS flour
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • For the Eggplant Coating:
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular bread crumbs
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Other:
  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian 6 cheese blend
  • 3-4 Basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • Corn Meal
  • For Basic Pizza Sauce (makes enough for 3 pizzas):
  • 28oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F or heat grill. I like doing my pizzas on the grill.
  2. Placed cubed Eggplant into a collander and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt (toss to coat well). Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over eggplant one TBS at a time and toss until coated.
  3. Beat one egg plus 2 egg whites in a medium bowl. Add the eggplant to the egg wash and gently toss until coated. Remove making sure to shake off any excess eggwash.
  4. In a 3rd bowl, mix together eggplant coating ingredients (Panko, bread crumbs, garlic powder, pepper, and dried basil). Add the eggplant that has been coated in egg wash and gently toss until coated..
  5. Coat pan with oil and fry eggplant until crispy on either side. (for a healthier version coat the bottom of a baking sheet with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes flipping halfway through. Eggplant should be nice and crisp, and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.)
  6. Move pizza stone to middle rack and turn heat up to 450º. Roll out or hand toss the pizza dough (we hand tossed it to make a nice thick crust). Sprinkle some corn meal onto pizza stone right before putting dough on it (this helps prevent sticking). Poke the center of the pizza dough with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up. Close oven and bake dough for 3-5 minutes. Remove dough from oven with a pizza peel (It should be firm and puffy, but not browning).
  7. Add desired amount of pizza sauce  Next, add cheese and eggplant. Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Last, turn oven on broil and allow crust to brown (only about a minute or so). Keep a close eye on it while it is broiling! Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh basil, slice with a pizza wheel, and serve.

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