Grilled Pizza with Eggplant and Tomatoes
Eggplant, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil—all iconic summer ingredients—make a tempting pizza topping. Cooking the vegetables and the pizza on the grill keeps the kitchen cool and adds a hint of smokiness. Serve with a green salad.
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) balsamic vinegar
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Asian eggplants, about 1/2 lb. (250 g) total weight, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch (9-mm) slices
- 1 small red onion, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch (9-mm) slices
- 1 lb. (500 g) purchased fresh pizza dough
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) small cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbs. slivered fresh basil
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh marjoram
Prepare a medium fire in a grill. In a bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) oil and the vinegar; season with salt and black pepper. Arrange the eggplant and onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush lightly with the vinegar-oil mixture. Place the eggplant and onion on the grill, cover and cook until tender and browned, about 5 minutes per side for the eggplant and 6 minutes per side for the onion. Remove from the grill. Cut the eggplant into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) pieces. Separate the onion slices into rings.
Divide the pizza dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half to a 9-inch (23-cm) round. Transfer to a floured baking sheet. Brush the top of each round with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Place the crusts, oiled side down, on the grill, cover and grill until the bottoms are firm and browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the crusts over, cover and grill until the bottoms are just set, about 2 minutes. Transfer the crusts to the baking sheet, grill-marked side up.
Spread half of the mozzarella over each dough round, and then top with the eggplant, onion and tomatoes. Sprinkle half of the pecorino and half of the pepper flakes over each. Whisk the vinegar-oil mixture and drizzle about 2 tsp. over each pizza. Using a large spatula, transfer the pizzas to the grill. Cover and grill until the cheeses melt, 5 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the pizzas to a cutting board. Sprinkle with the herbs. Cut into wedges, place on 2 warmed platters and serve immediately. Makes 2 pizzas; serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2011)