Pizza with grilled eggplant and red pepper, feta; lettuce salad; Brussels sprouts – 22 March 2014

I really liked this pizza a lot, and D did too!

main140322I used 1/3 recipe of crust, about 1/2 a “medium” eggplant, and one smallish (long and thin) red pepper for this recipe. D and I planned to plant some baby lettuces and other small things this morning, and in the process, I got into trimming out dead stems from our decade-old marjoram plant. When I realized I had a pizza planned that used marjoram, I knew I didn’t need to be as careful in my cutting, and I just took inside all the leafy branches I accidentally cut. I also cut (intentionally!) some thyme, and used those leaves. I took the leaves off the marjoram and chopped everything together, mixed in an appalling amount of olive oil (probably 1/4 cup) added 1/4 tsp salt and some grinds of pepper, and used this to brush both sides of eggplant slices – perhaps 1/2″ thick. But… I ran out, and had to add more oil and salt; I brushed some of the herbs off the brushed eggplant slices so the rest would have some, too. I grilled the eggplants and the red peppers on our Viking grill on high for 5 minutes [turn] 3 minutes… etc. till everything was nicely done. I snapped the two red peppers into a container that was heat resistant, and let them steam themselves for 15 minutes, then peeled off the blackened skin and removed the stem and all the seeds. I put away one pepper for Tuesday’s pizza and cut the other into something like 1/2″-3/4″ pieces. I cut up half the eggplant slices into maybe 1″ pieces and put the rest into the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch sandwiches.

I cut a very small bit of red onion almost benriner-thin; this was about a 1″x3/4″ oval portion of an onion, and maybe 1″ or less of it crosswise. I grated perhaps 3 oz mozzarella, and scraped the surface pink stuff off something like 2 oz, but could have been 3 oz (didn’t check) of the Bulgarian feta I was trying to use up (could try other fetas, too).

I stabbed the dough with a fork all over, then cooked it on my stone at 500 degrees something like 1 1/2 minutes, but I didn’t actually time it. I sprinkled most of the grated mozzarella over the crust, strewed the onion pieces, separated as well as possible, over the cheese, then the red pepper and eggplant, and finally the crumbled feta and the small bit of remaining grated mozz. I cooked this till done – probably about 6 more minutes.

setting140322I didn’t brush the crust with olive oil b/c of being kind of in shock at how much oil was already on the eggplant, but it was really fine – not to dry at all. The crust was great – rose in the sun in an hour; punch down; rose; divided into three (froze one, fridged one for tomorrow) and let tonight’s rise again; worked a bit and laid out for 20 mins or so, then stretched into a crust. It was really good!

We had too much dressing on our salads at lunch, with the last of the oregano pesto in the dressing, so D suggested we just save the plates and use the leftover dressing tonight – so we did. I scraped one plate’s dressing onto the other, mixed, and poured over some mixed lettuces, and they were coated well, but not tasty enough. I added a small bit of olive oil and white wine vinegar, and some salt, and tossed again, and it turned out great.

wine140322I trimmed about 9 Brussels sprouts, washed them and halved them, and boiled in a basket 4 minutes, then drained, and heated something less than 1Tbsp butter in the pan. I reheated the sprouts in the butter, also salting and peppering them, and left on Low till the pizza was done – several minutes. They were yummy.

We had a wine we found at The Wine Mine today – a Spanish Garnacha called El Chaparral (2011) de Vega Sindoa, from Navarra. We are interested in trying this wine with our favorite Gourmet skirt steak recipe, with an accompanying cilantro sauce. D also suggested Alan Hooker’s Seven Bean Soup with this wine – a great recipe from his Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery.

Later, we had some ice cream my friend M found at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market in November, but which you can get cheaper at Berkeley Bowl – Three Twins, and this one was chocolate and orange. Delicous! Of course, I ate it before remembering to take the picture…



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