the other day, I went to the supermarket and walked out with a mini watermelon. Is it just me or does it seem like spring is just around the corner?
It's also no secret that I have a serious love affair with pizza (as evidenced here, here, and here) so it would come as no surprise that I get prettay prettay excited about a good flatbread too. The difference? Well, not that much except that I prefer to par-bake the bread so that it's cooked, but then finish it off on the grill again to get a delicious charred, crispy consistency that we know and love. The charred eggplant lends a smoky sweet taste and is brightened by the presence of mint. Salty feta also gives it a creamy consistency and the harissa is that needed punch of spice and flavor. This is great for crowds, I decided, since it can be eaten with your hands and is minimally messy. I hope you enjoy.
- 1/2 lb. storebought or home-made pizza dough
- 1 small eggplant
- 4 oz. crumbled, fresh feta
- fresh mint
- 1 oz. harissa
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ground cumin
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
First, infuse your olive oil. Remove a bunch of mint leaves from the stem. Keep half of them whole, and chop up the rest of them. Add a sprinkle of cumin, a dash of salt, crushed clove of garlic, and two glugs of olive oil to a small bowl. Let this sit for at least one hour.
Next, prepare your eggplant. Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill. Slice the eggplant thinly into discs. Using a pastry or basting brush, paint your discs and place them onto a hot hot grill. Grill on both sides until nicely charred. When they're done, set aside.
Next, preheat your oven and pizza stone onto the hottest setting, about 500 degrees. Roll out your dough with plenty of flour and as flat as possible. Take your time on this! If it's too bouncy and springs back, let it rest and then continue rolling it out.
Brush the top of the dough with the oil and then pop it into the oven. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, or until the top has begun to brown. Remove it from the oven and brush the harissa onto the top in a thin layer.
Now, if preparing this ahead of time for a party, this is where we stop. The rest of the steps take only about 15 minutes and can be done before guests arrive. The flatbread is par-baked so that it's warm and mostly cooked, but could use a nice finish on the grill to get that crispy crust.
Pop the flatbread crust on top of a hot grill. Add the eggplant slices on top, generously. If it seems dry, brush on some of the infused oil. Once the bottom of the flatbread has nice grill marks, remove from the heat. Finish with a generous heaping of crumbled feta and more fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!