Thursday, 6 June 2013

Wearing a Thai for a Pizza Supper

Pizza con i Melanzane Thailandese, Peperone Rossi & Olive
Thai Eggplant, Red Pepper and Olive Pizza

Oh, it wasn't me that was wearing a tie for supper this evening, it was my pizza that was wearing a Thai eggplant- amongst other things! I had bought these little beauties from my favorite Asian/mexican stand on Saturday and somehow not quite gotten around to using them. They were still absolutely fine and would have been for a number of days to come... but I decided they had to go! Or should I say, I decided I didn't want to wait any longer!

But what was I going to do with them? I wasn't really in the mood for a curry or stir-fry this evening- it had been a long day and I felt like eating something I could just pick up in my hands and not make a fuss about sitting at the table
and all... I just wanted to kick-back and relax! And what food is better for doing that than a pizza?

Luckily for me, I already had a roll of pizza dough in the fridge. In fact it wasn't really lucky as I have to admit that I always keep one handy, as it is great to improvise flatbreads, rolls and of course pizzas with- very practical if you live on your own as I do! Making pizza dough fresh is no big deal and indeed a joy for friends or family... but for one person and one portion? Nah! Life's too short for that my friends!

The rest of the prep-work involved here was very quick and easy and was finished within the 10-15 minutes it took for the oven to heat up for baking... and all happened in one frying pan 2 good reasons to like this dish! A third reason is that I used very little oil and kept things healthy... and the most important reason of all 
is that is tastes sooo delicious!

I started off by slicing the eggplant and a red, pointy pepper and frying them in just a light drizzle of olive oil at a moderately high heat. Whilst that was happening, I sliced a Spring onion up on the diagonal and prepared a little flavored salt for seasoning. I used 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt, 1/3rd teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of fennel seed, a pinch of cumin, 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. I ground these together in my mortar and pestle until the pepper corns, and the seeds were nicely cracked. Once the peppers and eggplant had started to brown slightly, I seasoned with the salt mixture and added the onion slices. I stirred everything together well and after a minute or so, deglazed the pad with just a very small amount of water. There was a hiss of steam, a swirl of salt and spice and suddenly the water was gone, evaporated away and soaked up by the eggplant- which means that the flavors all got nicely soaked up too! In next to no time, things were beginning to sizzle again and that was my cue to remove things from the heat and get busy spreading out the pizza base...

To assemble the pizza, I plucked apart a small ball of mozzarella and sprinkled it about on the dough. I then carefully spread the now cool eggplant and peppers out evenly and sprinkled the Spring onion on top. I then added a few leaves of basil, plucked a few olives apart and added them and sprinkled a little more mozzarella on top... and into the oven it went on the highest setting I had! be brave... pizza needs that strong heat!

10 minutes later the pizza was finished! I gave it an extra couple of minutes under the broiler to get it even browner... but that was all it took! And the combination my friends? Let me just say... it was better than pretty damned good! ;-) Enjoy! I know that I did! 

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