Late Summer Hurrah Pizza

This pizza is a celebration of vegetables we associate with late summer, but are still coming in strong in early fall. It’s heavy with roasted eggplant and tomatoes, sauteed shishitos, kale, cheese, and finished with garlic oil. So…perfection?

My full share this week was green tomatoes, red tomatoes, kale, garlic, shishitos, mustard greens, celeriac, perpetual spinach, and watermelon radishes. I made burritos with sauteed perpetual spinach/radish tops, roasted sweet potatoes, beans, rice, and avocado. This risotto with beans, sausage, and bitter greens is a wonderful start of fall meal – hearty and warming but not heavy. I’ve been eyeing this bibimbap recipe for the weekend, which is a perfect way to use up any random veg you have. I also have a craving for Thai green curry, but I haven’t found a recipe I want to use yet (do you have one?!).

Late Summer Hurrah Pizza

As I’ve written before, this is my go-to pizza dough recipe, and I usually sub half of the white flour for wheat. It is a very wet pizza dough which I spread it on a Silpat on a baking sheet and cook it on the lowest oven rack. If this is your first time making pizza dough, I suggest this recipe for a slightly easier to work with dough. This makes 6 servings, which for me is a half sheet pan and a quarter sheet pan of pizza (or you could make 2 smaller pizzas instead of 1 large and 1 small).

  • 1 pizza dough, storebought or homemade (see note)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 pint fairy tale eggplant (or 1 regular eggplant), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint shishito peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb low moisture whole milk mozzarella, shredded
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful basil leaves, chopped

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the cherry tomatoes and eggplant on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for another 10 until the eggplant is soft and the cherry tomatoes have shriveled a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven up as high as it will go (mine goes to 550F).

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high and saute the shishitos for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Remove the peppers from the pan and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the oil starts to shimmer, then pour over the minced garlic.

Spread your dough on two baking sheets (I like to use a Silpat underneath, or you could use parchment paper).

Build the pizzas with the eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers first, then the kale, followed by the cheese. Finish by drizzling with the garlic and olive oil (use it alllll up!).

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is browning and bubbly. Finish with basil and serve with red pepper flakes.

Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, and Garlic Pizza with Olives and Savory

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I feel the same way every year, but this is really just the best time to eat. Perfect tomatoes, beautiful eggplant, vibrant lettuce and greens, sweet corn, tender berries, juicy melon, tart stone fruit and so many other bountiful vegetables are at their peak. My kitchen has been a very happy place this week as I try to cook as much as possible.

As it is apparent from this recipe, eggplant and tomatoes are my absolute favorites. I have a big list of recipes that I have to make for it to truly feel like summer, and eggplant pizza is always on there. I’ve made many iterations (two great versions are in that link), but I especially love this one with the sauce replaced with juicy, tangy, and sweet cherry tomatoes plus the briny contrast of olives.

My Potter Hill share this week was eggplant, beets, savory, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, and coriander. I used one of the eggplant and some onions in a noodle dish with coconut broth from Dinner (my perennial favorite). There was no cilantro left at the grocery store when I went shopping, so I just subbed the coriander from the share in (it was going into a spice paste) and it worked great. I made lamb meatballs with the last onion and paired them with a yogurt dill sauce and a cucumber and tomato salad (from, you guessed it, Dinner). If you’ve craving cooler weather you could use the beets and any leftover carrots from last week in roasted root vegetable bowls. Lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers could all go into this Greek-inspired salad I made last summer.

Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, and Garlic Pizza with Olives and Savory

This is my go-to pizza dough recipe, and I usually sub half of the white flour for wheat. It is a very wet pizza dough which I spread it on a Silpat on a baking sheet and cook it on the lowest oven rack. If this is your first time making pizza dough, I suggest this recipe for a slightly easier to work with dough. I often use pizza making as a chance to use up any random cheese I have in the fridge, so feel free to try others than I listed here.

Serves 4

  • 1 pizza dough, storebought or homemade (see note)
  • 10 ounces eggplant (1 small), chopped
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic (do not remove the paper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces kalamata olives, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced savory
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for another 10 until the eggplant is soft and the cherry tomatoes have shriveled a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven up as high as it will go (mine goes to 550F).

While the tomatoes, etc. are roasting spread your dough on a baking sheet (I like to use a Silpat, or you could use parchment paper).

Peel the garlic cloves and chop. Build your pizza starting with the roasted cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic, then the olives and savory, topped with the mozzarella and goat cheese.

Place your pizza in the oven on the bottom rack and cook for 10 minutes. The top should have nicely charred bits and the bottom should be crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. (If you are using a Silpat you will need to peel it off before cutting. I just tuck one end under and pull it to the other side. It helps to have someone else hold the pizza put.) Cut and serve with red pepper flakes.

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza with Bleu Cheese and Kale

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza - Vegetal MattersThe beginning of my love for vegetarian delicacies in buffalo sauce can be tracked to these Thug Kitchen buffalo falafel. They opened up my world of buffalo things so far beyond wings. Those falafel were essentially deconstructed to make this recipe for buffalo cauliflower salad (which would also be excellent with the falafel on top if you’re willing to do a bit more work). From there the logical next step is obviously pizza.

We were grocery shopping with a vague plan for dinner and Will had the genius idea for this pizza. The first try I put too much butter in the sauce, which made for a soggier pizza but the flavor was everything we hoped for. This version hits all the right notes, with a spicy (less runny) sauce, creamy cheeses, enough vegetables to make this an acceptable adult dinner, and a fresh bite of onion at the end.

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza with Bleu Cheese and Kale

Serves 6

  • 1  recipe for pizza dough (this recipe makes about 1.5 sheet pans worth of pizza, if your dough recipe makes less then you will have some extra toppings…use them on a salad or in a sandwich!)
  • 1 head of cauliflower (about 2.5 pounds once the leaves and stem are removed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (half a stick)
  • ½ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1.5 ounces chopped kale (from about 3 leaves)
  • 2 minced scallions

Preheat the oven to 425F. Slice the cauliflower in half and cut out the core. Cut the head into 1 inch pieces (bite-sized). Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil and a few pinches of salt, and spread evenly on 1 or 2 baking sheets (you want space between the pieces so they brown). Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing once, until the cauliflower is soft all the way through and has some charred spots. When the cauliflower comes out of the oven crank up the heat to 500F.

Melt the butter, add the hot sauce, and stir to combine. Spread your pizza dough out on 2 baking sheets (the recipe linked to makes for a very moist dough that I find easiest to spread on a silicone baking mat).

Put the cauliflower in a bowl and pour ¼ cup of the hot sauce and butter mixture over it. Toss the cauliflower to coat. Spread the remaining hot sauce mixture evenly over the doughs. Then evenly distribute the rest of the items in this order: kale, cauliflower, bleu cheese crumbles, and shredded mozzarella.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom pulls away from the pan and the cheese is bubbling vigorously. Let cool for a couple minutes, then sprinkle the scallions on top and serve.

Last Week I Cooked…

Last week I cooked - Vegetal MattersMiso sweet potato and broccoli bowl. This is another recipe I rarely deviate from. The tangy miso sauce expertly balances the sweet potato. If I don’t have fancy rice I just use brown and little is lost. A redemptive weeknight meal that fills and pleases.

Last week I cooked - Vegetal MattersLeftover chicken fra diavolo with beans and kale. The beans and kale I made in the style of this favorite recipe but without the anchovies (I thought they would be a bit much with the spicy chicken). The beans and kale appeared as breakfast later on in the week topped with a fried egg.

Last week I cooked - Vegetal MattersBaked falafel with beet dip and pita bread. Admittedly this was a bit ambitious for a weeknight, but buying pita would make for a much simpler meal. I liked the falafel, but I’m not enough to settle on them as my go to recipe. My favorite falafel ever from Sofra is served with beet tzitziki, so that inspired pairing them with this beet dip (next time I’d do more yogurt and less beets to make it even more like Sofra’s version). This was my first time making pita and it was SO FUN. Watching them puff up into little pockets was incredibly satisfying. As you cook the pockets individually they do take a bit longer, but the process itself was very easy. My one misstep was for a few of the pita I rolled them out too thin and then balled them up and re-rolled them, and those did not puff into pockets like the others.

Last week I cooked - Vegetal MattersMexican tortilla casserole. This recipe gets high marks for return on minimal effort, and it feeds a crowd. I subbed kale for the spinach because it was already on hand and added in the last of the leftover chicken fra diavolo (shredded). Flour tortillas instead of corn were my only other change. This is a great basic recipe to substitute whatever veg and beans you have around.

Last week I cooked - Vegetal MattersPizza with sauteed kale, pepperoni, and garlic oil. I’ve been using the dough recipe from Lady and Pups for all my pizza making recently and is the best dough I’ve made. I don’t always have bread flour and regular still makes an awesome dough (maybe even with a little wheat flour snuck in as well). Drained chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced stick pepperoni, lightly sauteed kale, mozzarella cheese, and finished with garlic oil (just like in the Lady and Pups recipe above, but without the capers) make for a richly flavored pizza. I love a bit of kale (which gets nice and crisp) to balance out the pepperoni (but that probably surprises no one).

Roasted cauliflower and garlic dip. I made this to take to a brewery (many let you bring food in if they don’t serve any) along with the rest of the beet dip, carrots, and chickpea crackers. I left out the pepitas and nutmeg and forgot the parsley and it was a big hit.

Chickpea crackers.  These were the easiest crackers I’ve ever made (and they’re gluten free if that’s your thing). There is no rolling, just spreading the batter on a baking mat. They were heavily spiced, so next time I think I’ll hold back on the cayenne and cumin.

Since I ran out of bread to make scrambled eggs with kale and whipped feta on toast I had to revert to the old standby, hash browns, kale and a fried egg. Breakfast was saved.

Not something I cooked – I’ve enjoyed my share of small plates with pretentious names and ingredients. But sometimes it can go too far, and this hipster bar menu generator does everything right. I love the balance of ridiculously namesd dishes and single items (oyster – $14).