When I lived in Arlington, VA I lived right by some really great restaurants. I had relatively good willpower and was able to resist their allure during the work week (most of the time), but Thursday was my exception. By Thursday all I want is some comfort food, a glass of wine, and to not have to prepare it myself. As soon as I'd get off the metro I'd end up at this one particular Italian restaurant near my apartment, called La Tagliatella. Their service was slow, but they served perhaps my favorite pizza of all time. It had thinly sliced fried eggplant on it and it was served with a balsamic honey glaze drizzled on top. Tom even loved it and he's not exactly an eggplant fan. Unfortunately the restaurant ended up going out of business shortly after I moved away. If I had known it was going to go out of business I would have bought 20 pizzas and frozen them all. I swear, it was that good!
I recently had a hankering for that delicious pizza so I tried my hand at making it myself. I cheated and used the frozen Trader Joe's breaded eggplant slices, and they were really good although a good bit thicker than the original pizza. I forgot that there was honey on it so I skipped that part, but if you want to add a little drizzle of honey to your pizza I promise it'll add a hint of sweetness that's unique and delicious.
-pizza dough (I used the Trader Joe's whole wheat version)
-shredded mozzarella cheese
-breaded eggplant (cook following directions on box, or make your own)
-crushed red pepper
1. Roll out pizza dough according to directions. Roll it out so that it's nice and thin so that your crust will cook quickly.
2. Layer dough with pizza sauce.
3. Add shredded mozzarella cheese to cover the whole pizza.
4. Place cooked eggplant slices onto the pizza. I used 5 slices but you can use more or less.
5. If you like a little heat, sprinkle crushed red pepper all over the pizza. (optional)
6. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. (Trader Joe's and most grocery stores will sell this. It's thicker than normal balsamic vinegar and it's one of my favorite condiments.) Drizzle with a little honey too.
7. Add some chopped basil to the pizza.
8. Cook according to directions on the pizza dough, preferably on a hot pizza stone. I cooked mine at 425 degrees F for about 14 minutes to make sure the dough was thoroughly cooked.