- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut crosswise into 2 pieces
- 3/4 pound plum tomatoes, halved
- 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped coarse
- 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, grated coarse (about 1 cup)
Pizza Dough Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° -115°F.) plus additional tablespoon if necessary
- a 1/4-ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Making the pizza dough:
- In a large bowl stir together water and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and salt and blend until mixture forms a dough, adding additional tablespoon water if too dry.
- On a lightly floured surface knead dough about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, dough may be made in a standing electric mixer, In a bowl of mixer make dough as described above. With dough hook knead dough about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.)
- Put dough in a very lightly oiled deep bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered loosely, in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. If making ahead of time put each piece in a small, sealable plastic bag and seal, pressing out excess air. Can be chilled overnight or frozen 2 weeks. If dough is frozen, thaw overnight in refrigerator before using. Makes enough dough for four 12- by 6-inch oval pizzas.
Making the pizza:
- Preheat oven to 450°F. and very lightly grease a large baking sheet.
- Cut smaller eggplant piece into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
- Spread eggplant slices in one layer on half of baking sheet and season with salt. Put remaining eggplant piece and all but 2 tomato halves on second half of baking sheet.
- Roast vegetables in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until eggplant slices are tender, and transfer eggplant slices to a plate. Roast remaining vegetables 15 minutes more, or until eggplant piece is very tender.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and cool vegetables slightly.
- Scoop out flesh from eggplant piece into a food processor and purée with roasted tomatoes, unroasted tomato, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste. Sauce and sliced eggplant may be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled.
- On a work surface sprinkled with 1 teaspoon cornmeal roll out 1 piece of dough into a 12- by 6-inch oval and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cornmeal and dough, ending up with 2 ovals on each of 2 baking sheets.
- Increase temperature to 500°F.
- Spread sauce on dough ovals, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge of each pizza. Arrange eggplant slices on sauce and sprinkle pizzas with basil and mozzarella.
- Bake pizzas in lower and middle thirds of oven 15 minutes, or until crusts are crisp and pale golden.