Here’s a gourmet option for pizza night… These vegetarian aubergine pizzas are mouth-wateringly good!
Rather than the usual tomato sauce/paste, these pizzas feature a creamy white sauce made from créme fraîche, aioli and parmesan.
Top with red onion, slices of grilled eggplant, a little crushed garlic, pine nuts and mozzarella, then bake in a super hot oven until golden brown.
Once baked, drizzle with basil pesto and top with generous handfuls of fresh rocket.
Even those that aren’t fans of eggplant are likely to enjoy this meal (I know Royce did!), but meat lovers can also add a little pepperoni or prosciutto.
Also, how good does that pizza crust look?! Lockdown gave me a chance to finally perfect my pizza dough recipe!
It’s artisan-style, slightly chewy, puffy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I haven’t included the recipe here as it takes a few hours to rise, but it’s incredibly easy to make and keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Let me know if you’re keen for me to share it as a separate recipe?
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Here’s a gourmet vegetarian option for pizza night! These aubergine pizzas feature a creamy white sauce, grilled eggplant, garlic, mozzarella and basil pesto. They’re super tasty!
Preheat oven to 250ºC (480ºF) fan bake if using homemade pizza dough, or 220ºC (430ºF) fan bake for store-bought pizza bases. Place two large oven trays in oven.
PREPARE PIZZA INGREDIENTS
Slice aubergine into 5mm / 0.2in thick rounds. Heat a large chargrill pan or frying pan on high. Add half the oil and cook eggplant slices in batches, until tender and lightly charred, adding more oil as required. Remove onto a plate.
Thinly slice red onion and crush garlic. In a small-medium bowl, stir crème fraîche, parmesan and aioli together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place pizza bases on pieces of baking paper. Spread with crème fraîche mixture, then top with red onion and sprinkle with garlic. Arrange aubergine on top, then sprinkle with pine nuts and oregano. Top with mozzarella/Colby cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil just on the edges of the pizza crust, if desired.
Carefully transfer assembled pizzas (on the baking paper) onto the hot oven trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
Slice pizzas into wedges. Drizzle pesto on top and finish with generous handfuls of rocket.
WINE MATCH: A Chardonnay.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Make sure aioli is gluten-free. Choose gluten-free pizza bases.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: Not keen on aubergine? For a veggie alternative, try 2 courgettes (pre-cook in the same way). You could also add some diced roasted red capsicum. Pepperoni or prosciutto are great meaty options, either as a replacement for the aubergine or a yummy addition to the pizza.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store any leftover pizza in the fridge. Pizza is great reheated in a frying pan on medium-high. Cover with a lid so that the top of the pizza warms up more quickly.