eggplant & pesto pizza
In theory, spring is here. In practice, it has never seemed further away. Even though we have an occasional sunny day, the majority of our waking hours are spent staring through grey windows out onto brown lawns and grey skies. Amaaazzziinnng.
So, until we can wear shoes without socks and sleep without giant duvets, we need to do something to get us into the spirit of spring - and that thing is pizza. Actually, if we're being honest, the answer to everything in my life is pizza.
This eggplant pizza, topped with the most delicious and vibrant green pistachio and arugula pesto, fried garlic, marinated lemony eggplant and thinly sliced red chillies, is undeniably spring-like. It's colourful, bright in flavour, light and texturally interesting. It's easy to make and, combined with a light spring salad, makes for a great dinner, or, in our case, a unique Sunday brunch.
1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
2 tbsp parmesan cheese - grated
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/8 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small eggplant - thinly sliced
1 red chilli - thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic - thinly sliced
2 tbsp feta cheese - crumbled
2 tbsp basil leaves
1/2 lemon - juiced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp parsley - finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
1. make pizza dough
2. in a food processor, combine pistachios, parmesan, basil, arugula, garlic, salt and pepper. pulse until the mixture is well combined and fairly smooth. with the processor on, stream in olive oil. place the pesto in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.
3. in a small frying pan, fry thinly sliced garlic in 2 tsp of olive oil until golden brown. remove the fried garlic to a paper towel and save the oil. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC. If you burn the garlic, start again.
4. In a large dish, combine lemon juice, red pepper flakes, reserved garlic oil, parsley, salt and pepper. place thinly sliced eggplant in the mixture and mix to coat well. set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
5. roll out pizza dough and place in your chosen pizza pan. spread pesto over the dough. place marinated eggplant slices evenly around the pizza.
6. bake the pizza in a preheated 450° oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
7. remove pizza from the oven and scatter over feta, chillies, crispy garlic and basil leaves.
8. serve with lemon wedges for squeezing on top.