I found the most adorable eggplants at Wilson Farm. They're called Fairy Tale eggplants, and they are miniature and mostly purple with white stripes. They look like something straight out of a fairy tale. I can imagine them growing around Cinderella's pumpkin coach.
I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do with the Fairy Tale eggplants, but after making homemade sauce for the pot roast I posted yesterday, I thought a pizza or flatbread would be a good idea. To add extra flavor to the eggplants, I decided to toss them with za'atar and roast them before topping the flatbread with them.
Fairy Tale Flatbread
5 Fairy Tale eggplants, quartered lengthwise, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon za'atar
1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough (see below)
1/4 cup homemade sauce (or store-bought)
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced and torn in small pieces
5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven to preheat.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Sprinkle eggplant with salt, and place on sheet pan. Toss eggplant with olive oil and za'atar. Bake 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Remove eggplant from oven, and raise heat to 425 degrees. Carefully remove pizza stone, and place on cooling rack.
Stretch pizza dough by patting it into a disk. Then pick the dough up with one hand so it hangs vertically over your work surface. Rotate the dough using your hands, and then rotate the disk over your knuckles. Place the stretched dough carefully on the hot stone, and stretch it a little more with your fingers. The dough will get a little melty from the heat of the stone, and you should be able to patch any tears or holes with your fingers.
Pre-bake the dough for 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the stone back to the cooling rack, and spread the sauce over the dough. It's easiest to do this with the back of a spoon.
Top with mozzarella, basil, and eggplant.
Bake the flatbread for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and dough is crisp. Let cool slightly, cut, and serve.
Pizza Dough (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 cups King Arthur Italian-Style Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
About 1/2 cup warm water
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Stir in the olive oil, and then stir in the water (if dough doesn't come together, add a little more water).
Turn the shaggy mass onto your countertop, and knead it until smooth and shiny. I kneaded without flour, but if you have to use flour, just use a very little bit.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
You'll need half of the dough for this recipe. Use the remaining dough for another flatbread or pizza, or double-wrap it in plastic and freeze it for another time.
For the most efficient use of time, make the dough, and after it has been rising for 30 minutes, start preparing the eggplant. By the time you're done cooking the eggplant, the dough should be ready to use.
I ate half of the flatbread for dinner the night I made it and then reheated the other half in the toaster oven for lunch the next day. The tender texture of the za'atar-tossed eggplant was the perfect contrast to the crisp, crunchy flatbread. While homemade tomato sauce is not necessary, I loved knowing that much of this flatbread was composed of ingredients I'd found at Wilson Farm and my local farmers' market.