Frying Pan Pizza with Eggplant, Horse Salami, Cherry Tomatoes & Salted Ricotta
It was an "it's Friday- time to use up all of those left-overs" kind of affair when it came to suppertime tonight... so I was thankful to have a roll of pizza- dough in the fridge to lay them out on!
I had eggplant left from the other night and some of that delicious (whether you approve or not!) horse-meat salami... and I aimed to make the most of them! And what better way to do so than this?
I love making these pizza-in-a-frying-pan creations! There's no better was to get a crispy, perfect base and crust every time in a regular oven, or to get a quicker and easier, good result! Oh, sure, you can use those pizza stones and other mullarky, which are basically a whole lot more time and energy and trouble than they are actually worth... do it my way once and you will never make your pizza another way again- word!
So, here you have them- my ingredients laid out for all to see! 1/2 of an eggplant, 6-7 cherry tomatoes, 1 shallot, 2-4" of salami, a handful of basil leaves, a little fresh thyme and some salted ricotta cheese for grating... and of course that supermarket pizza base! I wanted to make myself a snack-dinner- not win a Nobel prize for pizza-making!
You know, for a quick half-hour fix, this was not a bad deal! For sure it was better than any carry-out or home delivery pizza... and a whole lot more alternative and special in the topping! Where else would you get so much of the taste of the South of Italy on a pizza- other than in the South of Italy, eh? Ha! Try beating THAT argument!
I peeled and cut the eggplant into strips, sliced the salami, shallot and cherry tomatoes finely and then cut 3-4 of the slices of salami into a fine dice- that's all I needed to get things started in the frying pan and in the meantime, I turned on the oven on the highest setting to get it nice and hot and ready for action!
Step one was to fry the eggplant strips, together with the shallot and the finely chopped salami, for 4-5 minutes, until it became nice and soft and was just beginning to brown. I then set it to one side and allowed it and the pan to cool down.
In the meantime, I cut my pizza base to size to fit the frying pan- and as soon as it was cool enough, in went the pizza base, straight back into the same pan... and on went the topping!
I laid out the basil leaves first, then set the salami and eggplant out nicely and evenly space, and then the tomato slices in-between the gaps. I sprinkled the tomatoes with the fresh thyme and seasoned everything nicely with pepper- no salt, as the salami and the ricotta are both very salty in them selves. And yes, the ricotta was grated onto the top as the finishing touch... and plenty of it! Before getting the party started though, I folded over the edges of the base to give it a thicker and crisper crust... one of my favorite things about pizza after all!
Onto the stove-top it went, on the highest setting, for just 2-3 minutes, until the base became firm and came unstuck from the frying-pan all by itself. At that point, it went into the oven on the top shelf, at the top setting for 10-15 minutes, until the crust was golden brown, the salami and ricotta had become crispy and delicious and the tomatoes had soaked-up the flavor of the ricotta and thyme... yum!
Juicy eggplant and tomatoes along with salty ricotta and salami- combined with basil and thyme and set on a crispy dough base... what's not to love about that?
Crispy, savory- and yes indeed, delicious! this is not one of those oozy-cheesy pizzas, which you know I don't like anyway... but it is really rich and flavorful- which you know that I DO like!
See how the shallot has become caramelized and crispy? THAT'S what I love about this! And together with the basil and thyme to accent the other flavors... I am pretty sure you will love it too!