- The just-from-the-box pristine condition of the pizza stone
- The amoeba shape
- The gaping holes in the crust (oh, right, those are covered by toppings)
But can kitchen sleuths tell I'm hooked? Yes, the next pizza is already in my brain (squash, perhaps?) And as it turns out, there's dough in the frig so the next one'll be still easier, after investing, that is, in what I learned is an all-important pizza peel.
Once again, I'm indebted to the careful instructor over at StephenCooks, this time for pizza dough. Without this, it'd have been Boboli, baby! (Even then, the Boboli temptation was real. And I'd not hesitate, another time, for time's sake, to use a commercial crust.)
Other than the crust, the only thing made specially for tonight's pizza was the deliciously salty and pungent eggplant, a perfect pizza topping and a definite keeper. Otherwise it was a function of on-hand ingredients:
- some slow-roasted tomatoes (Batch 7)
- the oil used to cook nearly a pound of garlic cloves
- some Fontina from weekend sandwiches.
Tonight was also an exercise in portion control, not a pizza pig-out but a satisfying supper. Maybe it's just me, but isn't Pizza Night just an excuse to gorge? It's soooo good!
Instead I took a hard look at what came out of the oven tonight, steeled myself and said out loud, the better to persuade myself, "This is four pieces, four generous pieces at that, about five inches square." With a salad on the side and a tart apple for dessert, it was a more than filling meal.
[Later note: StephenCooks and I have been e-mailing back and forth about 'pizza portion sizes'. The folks at his table, including his slim-and-trim wife Elise, usually want two pieces, some times more. And I admit, until calculating the nutrition data, I was asking, How many points can a veggie pizza add up to, for heavens' sake? Pizza lovers, beware. It can be a lot -- because it TASTES so good, of course! Just ONE piece of tonight's pizza adds up to 11 Weight Watchers points -- that's a lot. It doesn't mean pizza is off-limits. It does mean it's a eat-it-knowing-what-you're-eating food -- enjoying, savoring, every single delicious bite.]
[April 2007: Stephen has been experimenting with bread flour and flour quantity. His expertise with homemade pizza dough is inspiring.]
OH: Nearly forgot! This is A Veggie Venture's official entry in Slash Food's Pizza Monday to which I owe gratitude for inspiring this pizza possibility!
ROASTED EGGPLANT & TOMATO PIZZA
Hands-on time: Sorry, really did lose track
Time to table: A couple of hours
StephenCooks' Pizza Dough
(Enough for 2 pizzas, each with four pieces; use half the dough now, save the rest for later)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
about 1 cup water (start with 1/2 cup)
MIXING the dough is easy. Just blend the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor with a pulse of two using the metal blade. Add 1/2 cup water, pulse several times. If a dough begins to form, hold off on adding more water. If it doesn't, add water a teaspoon or so at a time. Once a dough forms, shape into a ball. Transfer to a bowl with a teaspoon or so of olive oil in the bottom. Rub the ball in the oil, lightly covering it and the bowl at the same time. Cover with plastic wrap and move to a warm place to rise until doubled, about 60 - 90 minutes. (Tonight I tried the microwave trick, placing the bowl in the microwave with another bowl of hot tap water. It worked like a dream.) Or, if you like, follow Stephen's make-ahead and refrigerate/freeze instructions.
SHAPING the dough I found harder and have no magic tricks to offer at the moment. (Stephen, however, does.) Stretch the dough to form the crust, using cornmeal to prevent sticking. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
(Enough for 1 pizza with 4 pieces, double for 4 pieces)
1 pound eggplant, sliced thin and if more than an inch in diameter, cut in bite-size pieces (tonight, a Chinese eggplant that was less spongy than I think of eggplant, also a bit more pungent ... and very good)
2 tablespoons garlic olive oil (the oil that's left after cooking a pound of garlic cloves in them, regular olive oil would work too, next time I'll try just a single tablespoon)
While the dough rises, cut the eggplant and transfer to a colander with a sprinkling of salt between the layers. Let rest in a sink for 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Toss with the garlic oil, then arrange on a baking sheet and place under broiler until fully cooked and beginning to caramelize, turning occasionally.
(Enough for 1 pizza with 4 pieces)
6 slow-roasted tomatoes (or perhaps roast thin-sliced Roma tomatoes with the eggplant)
8 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced thin (I think you'd use less if it were grated)
Preheat oven to 450F. (The instructions for the new pizza stone didn't mention whether it needed more than 15 minutes preheating. I suspect it does.)
Arrange the eggplant atop the crust. Arrange tomato halves atop the eggplant. Arrange cheese atop both. Transfer onto pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes. (Another time I'll increase this to 20 minutes but ovens vary so develop your own routine.) Reduce heat to 400F and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is brown and crispy and the toppings steaming hot.
Crust Only, Per Serving: 145 Cal (3% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 85% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 30 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 7 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 296 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points
Eggplant & Tomato Toppings Only, Per Serving: 106 Cal (59% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 34% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 17 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 128 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points
Eggplant, Tomato & Cheese Topping, Per Serving: 327 Cal (68% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 13% from Carb); 17 g Protein; 25 g Tot Fat; 12 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 329 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 582 mg Sodium; 66 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 8 points