Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pizza Three Ways

Awhile back I had middle eastern night in my kitchen, and one of the things that I did was create pita bread from scratch. Only my pita bread turned out sort of dense instead of light and fluffy and full of air pockets. It probably had something to do with the yeast. But I had decided at that time that the pita bread would make pretty good pizza crusts, and threw them in the freezer for future use. So the other night I decided it was time to break them out.

First I let Woodrow make two as he wanted. I knew he'd want red sauce, so I got some for him. (Woodrow had never made pizza before. Isn't that sad? Didn't most of us make pizza at some point, even if it was only english muffin pizzas? Heck, I worked at Little Caesar's as a teen, so I know all about pizza making!)

We used sliced mozzarella, and he layered on the pepperoni.

He wound up adding green pepper, too, and I think a little leftover chicken, with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan on top.

I did two small pesto pizzas-- pesto sauce, mozzarella, leftover chicken and red onion, with a sprinkle of parmesan.

Yum! That pesto pizza was very good! And Woodrow's pepperoni pizza wasn't bad either.

We snacked on the small pizzas while I started on a large pizza that I wanted to try from Pioneer Woman. First I sliced an eggplant in 1/4-1/2 inch slices. I salted both sides and put them in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.

While they were resting, I mixed up halved grape tomatoes with garlic.

Once the eggplant was done resting, I rinsed the slices and patted them dry with a paper towel. Then I cut the slices into quarters. Then the eggplant was tossed with a little olive oil.

The eggplant were spread on a baking sheet and baked at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes. Toss it and cook another 3 minutes or so. (You are really supposed to use the broiler, but I don't like what it does to my baking pans.)

Then the tomatoes are added to the baking sheet, and all of the veggies are baked for another 4 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are weeping and wrinkling (this helps them to release their water, so that they don't make the pizza all damp.)

The sliced mozzarella is spread out on a pizza crust (no sauce). The veggies are sprinkled across the cheese. Then everything is sprinkled with parmesan.

I actually bought a pizza stone for cooking the pizza.

Perhaps 20 minutes in the oven, and this is what you get. It can't compare to the pesto pizza, but it wasn't half bad! It made a nice lunch yesterday.