Grilled Curried Eggplant Pizza

I shop a lot at farmer’s markets. Like almost exclusively for my food. There’s a few dairy items I get from an organic grocery store, but for the most part I eat with the seasons. Being in a rather northern climate in Western Canada, the vegetable options can become roots, roots and more roots as the winter goes along. I love things like carrots, rutabaga, beets, potatoes, celeriac, etc so it’s not a problem. But I’m also fortunate enough to have a few industrious families who grow exceptional vegetables in greenhouses/nurseries.
Places like Doef’s or Gull Valley Greenhouses grow a variety of tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, sweet peppers, chillis, green beans (seasonally) and eggplant! I’m a big fan of eggplant. It can be diverse enough to make vegetable-based meatballs, stand in as a “pasta” in lasagna, but when grilled it’s like a buttery candy! And if you give it a curried rubdown first, the flavours are through the roof! And on top of that, if you put it on a pizza, there’s so much flavour your mouth may need a nap afterwards!! 😉 So here’s a great way to get your veggies in flavourful style! Enjoy!

For the dough:

1 cup einkorn wheat flour (or whole wheat all purpose flour)
1 cup red fife flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
1/2 tsp salt
7/8 cup warm water
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp honey

For the Grilled Curried Eggplant:

1 Tbsp cold pressed oil
225g/8 oz fresh eggplant, cut into 2cm/1″ slices
2 Tbsp mixed curry spice blend or garam masala

For the rest of the pizza:

Prepared dough
Prepared Grilled Curried Eggplant
100g/4 oz fresh green beans, blanched for 4 minutes until tender crisp
1 fresh red chilli, stemmed, seeded and sliced
1/3-1/2 cup favourite pizza sauce/marinara
150g/4 oz favourite cheese (I prefer a spicy, chilli-infused jack cheese, but any mozzarella or cheddar will do just fine)

To prepare the dough, add the einkorn and red fife flours into a large bowl. Blend them with your fingers. Make a depression in the centre. Sprinkle the salt on the flour around the periphery. Add the water, yeast and honey to the centre of the depression in the flour. Stir the yeast into the water and allow to bloom for about 10-15 minutes until bubbly.
Stir the flour from the edges into the bubbly yeast, gradually bringing the dough together, first into a batter, then as it gets thicker, into a soft dough. Turn the dough and remnant flour from the bowl on a counter surface and knead until a soft, yet slightly sticky dough is achieved. Place back into a bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise for an hour (or overnight in your fridge if you’re really nerdy haha).
To grill the eggplant, heat your grill (outdoor set to medium, indoor grill set to high). On a large plate stir together the oil and curry spice mix. Rub the eggplant slices with this curried oil and grill for 5-7 minutes on each side until deeply golden. Allow to cool and slice into 2cm/1″ strips. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Invert a large baking sheet so the bottom is facing up. Drizzle a teaspoon or two of oil over the inverted surface and spread it evenly with the palm of your hand. Divide the risen dough in two portions. Stretch each dough portion into a rough 25cm/10″ circle. Press each portion on the prepared baking sheet, crimping a raised edge of dough for each pizza.
Spread each pizza with pizza sauce. Sprinkle half of the cheese over both pizzas. Lay out the slices of chillis, Grilled Curried Eggplant and blanched green beans in an even pattern. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes. Turn the oven setting to Broil/Grill and broil the pizzas for a further 4-6 minutes until deeply golden on top. Makes 2-25cm/10″ pizzas.

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