Deep Dish Sausage, Eggplant and Artichoke Pizza (Alternative Recipe Ideas for Eggplant)
Deep dish pizza with eggplant, artichoke and pepperoni tucked under a blanket of sausage.
The other week I was chatting with my hair gal about farm shares and explaining what sort of produce we were getting during midsummer. I mentioned eggplant. She replied that she loved eggplant parmesan and it got me thinking. [Get ready for the rant]
If the only way you know to eat eggplant is Eggplant Parmesan, what do you do when you have a farm share and get 3 eggplants per week for 4 out of 5 weeks in a row? I suppose you could make a weekly pan of eggplant parmigiana. I hear it freezes fine. Or you could share it with friends who need a bit of love through food. Or me!
If you're looking for alternatives, though, think about grilling slices of eggplant, baking eggplant chips, or roasting cubes. Amazing flavors and endless possibilities. Please check out my Eggplant Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I will be updating it like I've done with beets and kohlrabi, including recipes from other food bloggers to generate a useful resource for folks like me eating from the farm share. Folks who may not feel like eating a pan of eggplant parm once a week in July and August. /rant, on to the pizza!
This pizza is kind of semi-homemade if I'm allowed to use that term. I bought the premade dough and sauce [ok, if you want to be technical about it I bought the eggplant by purchasing a farm share, picked up the artichokes on a Costco run, and grabbed the cheese, pepperoni and sausage during a grocery store milk run]. More to the point, though, I assembled this pizza at home out of ingredients I had on hand.
My son called this Deep Dish Pizza Mach 4.0, and my spouse said "finally". He'd liked the discs of sausage from my first deep dish pizza explorations [chronicled with gifs in How Not to Make Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza] and requested more. I didn't have any Italian sausage--so per his request I substituted breakfast sausage. Making this pizza proved to me [so I can share with you] that using what you've got on hand can make tasty pizzas at home--even deep dish style. Expect to see more in the future.
Note: This recipe uses leftover baked eggplant chips. I followed this recipe from Blenheim Organic Gardens, our old farm share in Virginia, and topped them with feta cheese after flipping. This summer I've been throwing the farm share on the grill, so I'm grilling my eggplant chips, not baking them, but this post was created last Fall to be shared now so you get what I did then!
Deep Dish Sausage, Eggplant and Artichoke Pizza1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 pound pizza dough
8 ounces mozzarella, sliced thinly, divided (NOT the fresh stuff in water, use the cheap aged and wrapped stuff instead for better--less soupy--results)
½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
½ cup chopped baked eggplant chips (see Note above) or cooked eggplant of your choice
¼ cup pepperoni slices
½ pound breakfast sausage, flattened into a disc as shown in this post
¾ cup pizza sauce of your choice
1 teaspoon Pasta Sprinkle or other Italian blend of seasonings
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and swirl oil around a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with cornmeal, then push the pizza dough across the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Use enough of the sliced cheese to create a layer of cheese across the dough. Top with the vegetables, pepperoni and sausage. Spread sauce across the sausage, top with remaining cheese, and sprinkle with seasonings. Place in preheated oven, reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbly.