Before we moved away from Northern California, my favorite pizza place was Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria,* and my favorite pizza there was called the Boston. It was simple pizza with fried eggplant and mozzarella, plus a little tomato sauce. Add some crushed red pepper and dip the crust in ranch dressing, and it was a great, indulgent meal. What it has to do with Boston, I never quite figured out.
*Yes, on the West Coast.
My sister-in-law and her husband were in town a couple of weekends ago, and we had lots of eggplant from our CSA box, so I decided to broil some as a pizza topping. Grilled pizzas are, of course, our favorite casual meal for guests, since everyone can customize their own. I made a pizza for myself with just a smidge of tomato-basil sauce, the broiled eggplant, a handful of shredded mozzarella, and some basil from our garden. It was delicious.
Recently, the hubby duplicated the experience for a super-easy weeknight dinner. I had a committee meeting and didn’t make it home until after 9, but there was a pizza waiting for me! He had breaded and pan-fried the eggplant this time, but otherwise followed the same recipe, using crusts we had made ahead and frozen. What a great meal to come home to!
I have since found a great new pizza place in my neighborhood, with the hands-down best vegetarian combo I’ve ever tasted (spinach, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, garlic, and mushrooms with a white sauce), but at least now when I’m craving a little eggplant pizza, I can make my own!
I don’t really do recipes for pizza, but if you want to see what the fuss is all about, broil or fry some eggplant and give it a try! Just slice the eggplant thin and lay it out on doubled paper towels. Sprinkle it with kosher salt and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Blot off the moisture with paper towels, and then broil until golden brown on both sides.