Baba Ghanouj pizza
The continuing saga of my son’s cooking.
I have no idea how the boy found either this website nor this particular recipe within it, but this is the weirdest, most delicious pizza I have ever made – er, yes, I actually made the pizza. The boy made the gremolata that goes on top, and he gets all the credit because he found the recipe.
When he told me about a Baba Ghanouj Pizza the first word out of my mouth was “Ewww!!” When I told my husband he reminded me that he’d been invited out to dinner that night (he truly had been – it was a business dinner that had been on the calendar for a week) and wouldn’t be eating it.
When we saw eggplants on sale at the supermarket, the boy said, “See? We can make that pizza!” And I, being the weak-willed woman that I am when it comes to my children, said ok. You know, I’m really glad I did. This sounds absolutely disgusting, but it’s actually really delicious!!
The person who wrote the original recipe on her really interesting blog, Cooking Without a Net, said that she made it up when she accidentally made baba ghanouj with slightly underdone eggplant. I did the same, only by accident, not knowing that it was the right thing to do — the boy was relating the recipe to me as we went and didn’t mention that part.
I had started dinner too late (I was writing. I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop. Honestly!). Then after dinner – yes, after I had actually made the pizza and eaten it (yummy!) did I read the recipe. I was supposed to have undercooked eggplant (whew!) and I was supposed to have cooked the pizza dough a little before putting the baba ghanouj on top (oops! Didn’t do that – should have — it would have made things a little dryer in the middle). I was also supposed to put the gremolata on after the pizza had finished cooking (nope. Didn’t do that. Didn’t know I was supposed. It turned out well anyway).
I made my own baba ghanouj for this. Actually, you can use store made, but honestly it is the easiest thing to make, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t. I used a baba ghanouj recipe from a friend, but Cooking Without a Net’s got a good one on her website which I’m going to try next time. So, I encourage you, throw caution to the wind and try this pizza. It’s weirdly good!
BABA GHANOUJ PIZZA
(The is the recipe copied from Cooking Without a Net with my comments in italics)
Mix up a batch of pizza dough (I used Harris Teeter ready-made whole wheat pizza dough, found in the deli section of the supermarket. Trader Joes sells it also) . Let it rise, either for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator (my preferred method). (Um, I didn’t let the dough rise, I assumed it was ready to go. ) Either when you are ready to make the pizza, or up to a day before, make the baba ghanouj (my recipe follows, or you could try hers. Mine’s easier, but turns out a little wet.)
When you are ready to make the pizza, roll out the dough and bake it for 4 minutes in a 450 deg. F. well pre-heated oven. Remove from the oven and spread the baba ghanouj generously over the dough. Bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the crust is done to your liking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle gremolata (recipe below) over the top (as I said above, I put the gremolata on with the baba ghanouj – it tasted just fine, maybe a little better because the baba ghanouj got some of the wonderful lemony flavor of the gremolata blended into it during the baking). Tabbouleh would probably also be good, if you wanted to stay more true to the ethnicity of the region.
My Baba Ghanouj Recipe
1 medium sized eggplant
2 Tbs Tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs mayonnaise
- Roast the eggplant: I roast mine whole. I put small slices into it, into which I shove thin slices of garlic. I then bake it on tin foil (so much easier for clean-up). I baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes, found it wasn’t done at that time, so I put the temperature up to 400 for another 15-20 minutes. When the sides are all caved in and it’s soft, it’s done (remember for this recipe, you want the eggplant a little undercooked, so cook until the sides are just slightly caved in — you do still want it mostly cooked. If it’s not exact, really, don’t worry about it).
- Scrape the flesh of the eggplant from the skin (careful, it’s really hot!) and put it into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
- Done when smooth.
2-3 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste or grated (grated will be much stronger) zest of 1 lemon 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 1 tsp olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients well.