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Grilled Eggplant and Fresh Basil Pizza Recipe

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Eggplant and basil is a simple pizza combination, but, if you're like my friend Jason, it'll soon be your favorite. Jason insists on placing full leaves of basil (fresh from his garden) underneath each slice of eggplant, as well as some snipped pieces on top, too. There's not much to it - just pizza dough, pizza sauce, eggplant, basil and cheese. I usually like a bit of garlic on my pizza, but in this recipe, you want to keep things simple. Plus, I usually use a pizza sauce that has plenty of garlic already. If you do need to add more to this simple pizza, the only thing I can condone is some thinly sliced tomatoes which will add a lovely fire-roasted flavor.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil for brushing eggplant
  • 1 small eggplant
  • about 12 medium whole fresh basil leaves
  • about 1/3 cup prepared pizza sauce
  • 2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • prepared pizza dough for one pizza (this is my favorite pizza dough recipe)

Preparation:

Set oven to broil (about 500 degrees).

Slice eggplant into rounds about 1/3-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and grill for a few minutes, about 2-3 minutes, on each side, until tender. Set aside. If you don't have a grill handy, you could also roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees on a baking sheet.

Spread a layer of pizza sauce on top of the dough. On top of the sauce, arrange the grilled eggplant slices in a single layer and tuck a whole basil leaf under each slice. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may have some leftover. Dip it in the sauce and eat it as an appetizer while you're waiting for your pizza to cook!

Chop 3-4 whole basil leaves coarsely, then sprinkle them on top of the pizza, followed by a layer of grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake pizza in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is just bubbly and crust is lightly golden brown.

Note that as with most pizza recipes, the amount needed is really an approximation, so feel free to adjust and add more or less as you like.

Like vegetarian pizza ideas? Here's a few more unusual pizza ideas to try:

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