The Downtown Farmer: Eggplant Parm Pizza

A Delicious Farm-to-Food Truck Recipe from Chef Loreal Gavin

Follow Chef Loreal Gavin as she serves up delicious farm-to-food truck recipes using locally sourced foods from America’s top urban farms. New recipes will be uploaded weekly through April on CMT’s YouTube channel.

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Total: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 3, 6-8 inch pizzas

Ingredients

Eggplant:
2 medium sized eggplants
2 tablespoons salt
2 clean kitchen towels
1 tablespoons olive oil for crisping on stove top

Pizza Topping:
8 ounces, shredded parmesan reggiano
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 handful fresh basil

Sauce:
2 – 3 pounds cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cups crushed garlic
1 fresh rosemary sprig
3 cups white wine
1 tablespoon salt

Dough:
3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour (plus 1 cup extra for rolling the pizza dough out once it is done proofing)
1 envelope instant dry yeast (dissolve the yeast in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon honey)
4 tablespoons olive oil, (reserve 1 tablespoon for the bowl where dough will proof)
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

Directions

There are several steps in this recipe. If you are feeling overwhelmed by them, purchase premade pizza dough. This will save you about an hour of time. If you want to make your own dough, more power to you.

To Make the Dough:

Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. On low speed bring all the ingredients together and mix for 7 minutes.

The dough should be forming a ball at this point. You may need to add a bit of flour.

Add the rosemary into the dough, and mix for an additional 2 minutes on medium speed.

Transfer the dough into a medium sized bowl that has been smeared with 1 Tablespoons olive oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to prove (rise).

The dough will double in size in about an hour.

Remove the proofed dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured flat surface.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place a baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven so that it can preheat also.

Cut the dough into three different pieces and round them into individual balls making sure that you seal the bottoms of each one.

Roll them out into circular shapes of less than a half an inch thick and pop them into the hot oven on the baking sheet or pizza stone.

To Make the Sauce:

In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat add the crushed garlic and olive oil with the salt.

Next add the tomatoes and let them blister in the pan for 10 minutes or until the skin starts to peel away from the tomatoes.

Now it is time to add the white wine and the whole rosemary sprig.

Make sure the heat is still on medium and let it reduce on a slow simmer for 20 minutes in medium heat.

Take off the heat once it has reduced by half.

You can keep the sauce for up to 5 days under refrigeration in an airtight container.

Prepare the Eggplant:

Cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarter inch pieces.
Place the slices right next to one another on a salted kitchen towel.

Salt the tops of the eggplant as well and cover with the second kitchen towel.
Use two similar sized pans and a lid of a pot to add weight while you leach out the excess water from the eggplant.

After about 30 minutes of this you can literally ring out the water from the towels.

Place the eggplant in a saucepan on medium heat with a tad of olive oil to crisp them up.

Flip the eggplant with some kitchen tongs and then add the parmesan cheese.

Watch the heat of the pan closely so that it doesn’t burn.

Finish the Recipe:

Place the pizza dough into the preheated oven.

Ladle the sauce onto the dough.

Add the fresh mozzarella and let it bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Remove the pizza from the oven and lay the crispy parmesan cheese and eggplant on the pizza.

Don’t forget the fresh basil either, it’s a game changer.

Serve hot, immediately.

TIP: Sometimes I like to cut my pizza with kitchen shears. It works so well.