Eggplant Tapanade Grilled Flatbread with Fresh Mozzarella

IMG_0974This is a simple eggplant tapenade that’s packed with flavor.  On the grilled pizza dough it’s a fantastic combination

1 Large Eggplant diced 1/2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of chopped garlic

1 small onion diced

2 italian peppers diced

5 fresh basil leaves chopped

2 medium fresh tomatoes diced

1 large ball of fresh mozzarella

1 16 ounce pizza dough (you can make this or buy them from the grocery store)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Oil and Herb Mixture:

5 tablespoons of Olive Oil

A tablespoon each of Oregano, Thyme, Fresh Garlic minced, salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Preheat grill on high
  • Dice one large (or two small) eggplant to about 1/2 inch dice (I like to leave the skin on, gives a deeper flavor)
  •  In a colander, liberally coat the diced eggplant with salt. This will help draw out some of the water in the eggplant and also firm up the texture so you can avoid the “mushiness” Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • In large skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 cloves of chopped garlic ,one small onion diced, 2-3 italian peppers diced and about 5-8 basil leaves
  • Sauté these items until the onions become translucent.
  •  Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels.  Add eggplant to the pan.
  • Sauté for about 4-5 minutes on medium high heat.
  • Add diced tomatoes to pan and reduce heat to medium
  • Let simmer for 7-10 minutes until eggplant starts to breakdown
  • Remove from heat and place in bowl to cool
  • Lightly dust dough ball with flour. Work the dough out with your hands to start forming the dough into  what ever shape you desire. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Keep in mind the size of your grill. This is fun to do with the kids.  If you think the rolled out dough will be to large for the grill, cut it in half.
  • Once the dough is rolled out, dock the dough with two forks. In other words poke a bunch of small holes in the dough with the tines of the forks. This will help prevent major bubbling.
  • Transfer dough onto an inverted cookie sheet. This will allow you easier access to the dough.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes
  • Brush the side facing up with an oil and herb mixture. Bring it over to grill and flip the sheet pan over onto the grill surface.
  • Remove the pan from the dough.
  • On the side that is now exposed, brush on the herb oil mixture.
  • DO NOT WALK AWAY. This needs constant attention as it can burn very quickly. All you want to do is get a nice char on the outside of the dough. About 2-3 minutes (depending on grill). The dough will start to firm up and become easy to flip.
  • Flip the dough and cook for an addition 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.  Remember the dough is not completely cooked, that’s why the oven is on.

IMG_0967

  • Take eggplant mixture and spread evenly over the dough
  • place slice mozzarella cheese over the top
  • Place topped pizza in oven either on pizza stone or an cookie pan with a cooling rack on it.
  • Bake for and additional 5-8 minutes until cheese is “melty”.

Slice and enjoy with a glass of your favorite wine. If you want to serve this as an appetizer, prior to putting on the topping, use a small round cookie cutter and cut circles out of the par cooked dough. Lay the circles on a cookie sheet and then top and bake.

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