I’m obsessed with eggplant. The color. The vegetable too of course. I’ve waited for Fall to come around just so I can rock anything deep purple. From nail polish to suede pumps to even a plum colored satchel that I’ve been eyeing forever. Might even try a plum colored lipstick. Haven’t done that since high school. Yeah I get really excited for fall fashion. Can you tell?
This pizza was sort of a last minute idea when I went grocery shopping. It felt like it was the last weekend for the over abundance of eggplant and zucchini at the store. So I picked up a zucchini, a couple of baby eggplants, and a pre-made organic crust to make a pizza with pesto. I already had mozzarella, pecorino cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge. I try my best to use ingredients I already have on hand mixed with a few fresh ones at the store to stay within my weekly grocery budget. The pizza isn’t the prettiest pizza in the world, but the flavors make up for it. Especially if you love sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino cheese.
The pesto is very simple and easy to make. Instead of using regular olive oil, the oil from the jar with the sun-dried tomatoes is used.
The sun-dried tomatoes will still be a little chunky after processing which is what you want.
You can even make the pesto ahead of time and store in the fridge until you’re ready to make the pizza. The pesto is great on pasta too.
Choose the smallest zucchini and eggplant. Italian eggplant is shown here which is basically baby eggplant. You could also use Japanese eggplant.
Roast the veggies with olive oil before putting them on the pizza since we’re using a pre-made pizza crust. Pre-made crusts don’t take very long to bake.
No olive oil. No tomato sauce. Just pesto. The pesto will darken as it bakes in the oven.
Arrange the roasted veggies all over the pizza.
The pecorino adds a salty bite which brings all the flavors together.
See, it’s not the most attractive looking pizza, but it’s good. I promise.
The baking time for the pizza crust might vary depending on what kind you buy at the store. Read the package instructions for baking times. The pesto can be made ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
1 12-inch store-bought whole wheat pizza crust (such as 365 Organic)
sun-dried tomato pesto (recipe below)
1 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch coins
2 small Italian eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch coins
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup shredded (part-skim) mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 of 8.5 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, add the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, basil, and garlic. Process until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Add the parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside. The pesto should be about 3/4 cup all together when finished.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the zucchini and eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the zucchini and eggplant. Roast for about 10 minutes until softened, but still firm to bite. They will continue baking when placed on the pizza. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a plate if using the same baking sheet for the pizza.
Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the sun-dried tomato pesto over the crust leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant slices on top of the pesto creating overlapping layers. Sprinkle the oregano, mozzarella, and pecorino cheese over the pizza. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crust is golden and cheeses are melted and bubbly. If you like your cheese slightly browned, turn on the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.
Slice the pizza with a pizza cutter and serve.
Note: Pizza can be reheated in a 350 degree F oven.