Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Aubergine, mozzarella and mint pesto pizza

Make one quantity of pizza dough, or use two pre-made thin pizza bases

1 large aubergine
olive oil
50 g pine nuts
50 g parmesan, grated
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 large bunch of mint, leaves picked
200 g fresh mozzarella, cut into slices

Pre-heat the oven to its highest possible temperature. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven and let it get hot.

Make the pizza dough as in this recipe. While the dough is rising, prepare the aubergine. Cut it into thin slices, each about 1-2 mm in thickness, then lay them on the draining board of the sink, sprinkle with salt, and weigh down (I use a chopping board with containers of flour on top). Leave them for 20 minutes or so, then rinse the sliced aubergine well and pat dry. Heat a little olive oil in a frypan over medium heat, and cook the slices until they are light golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

To make the pesto, combine the pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and mint in a food processor (or use a mortar and pestle). Blend until well combined, drizzling in olive oil until the pesto comes together and is smooth and liquid enough to spread easily.

Divide the dough into two pieces of equal size. Working with one half at a time, roll out the dough to form a thin disk about 10 inches in diameter. Place this disk onto a piece of greaseproof paper to make for easier handling later on. Spread pesto generously across the pizza, leaving a thin margin around the edge. Scatter slices of mozzarella across the pesto, and then top with cooked aubergine.

Lifting the pizza by the paper underneath it, place it on a pizza tray (or heated pizza stone, if you have one). Put it in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until the dough is brown around the edges and the topping is bubbling. The time taken will depend upon the heat of your oven, the thickness of your dough, and whether or not you are using a pizza stone. Keep an eye on the first pizza you make, and adjust the time once you know your oven. Serve as soon as the pizza comes out of the oven.

Makes two thin-based pizzas; serves 3-6 depending on hunger.

22 December 2003

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