meatless . #50 {eggplant mushroom cheese pizza}

Well, we’re almost to the end of our year of Meatless Mondays, which became a Meatless Whatever-Day-of-the-Week-It Is.  When I announced last week that I was glad this was all coming to a close Michael, shockingly, said, “No, we should keep doing it.” While trying to make great meatless meals one day a week was a lot of pressure for me, not sure why, almost everything we had was fab! Like 98%…okay, so the ricotta gnudi was not our fave but nearly everything else was great. You’re probably reading this thinking: Wait, this is meatless meal number 50. It’s the last week of the year…she must have misnumbered or missed a couple weeks. Truth? I missed one week this month. Things got crazy and with travel it was impossible. But I’m actually one meatless day behind {tomorrow will be the last one for the year}…I have a post that I found stashed in my drafts. Another breakfast-for-dinner meal I meant to write while in Maui but, well, was having so much fun never got around to it. So I’ll write up the quick recipe and post it  in the next day or so. The one thing I’ve wanted to make all year was pizza. Tonight was the night. It gave me a chance to use up the half onion, remaining oregano, pesto and mushrooms that were starting to take root in the fridge. Many of the other ingredients I picked up from my neighborhood grocery store. The olive bar is truly my friend.  So pizza’s not so hard. And the whole stretching thing, well, don’t freak out about it. I actually like a more rustic look to pizza. You don’t need special equipment but if you’ve ever cruised Costco and seen the pizza stone kit and wondered if you should buy it…go for it. Once you discover how easy it is to make your own pizza, you’ll make it a lot!
Eggplant Mushroom Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
serves 4 {or 2 vary ravenous adults} 
1 med. eggplant, sliced into ¾” rounds
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 lb. store bought pizza dough ball
2 tbsp. flour {or cornmeal}
¼ cup store bought basil pesto {you can get just the amount you need from the olive bar}
5 cremini mushrooms, cut into ½” slices
¾ cup roasted tomatoes from the olive bar {or 2 plum tomatoes, quartered, tossed in olive oil w/salt + pepper and roasted}
6 small roasted garlic cloves from the olive bar, smashed
1 cup shredded fontina
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
Preheat oven to 400°.  Lay eggplant in a single, spaced out layer on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes or until eggplant begins to softened and turn golden brown.
While the eggplant is roasting, cook the onions. Add the remaining olive oil to a saute pan and heat over a medium flame. Add the onions and caramelize for 10 minutes, stirring often. If your onions start to brown, lower your burner’s heat. 
Remove eggplant from oven and let rest. After cooking, remove onions from heat and set aside. Bring the heat of your oven up to 500º and place your pizza stone or baking sheet on the middle rack. 
Take the pizza dough, and on a lightly floured wooden board {or a pizza peel}, press dough into a large flat round. Pick the dough up and gently stretch dough to fit your stone or baking sheet. Lay back on the floured surface to assemble. 
Spread pesto over the dough, leaving a 1 ½” crust. Layer eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes,  garlic, fontina over the dough making sure to spread all ingredients evenly throughout. Drizzle the onions over the pizza, sprinkle with goat cheese and oregano. Gently slide the pizza onto the heated pizza stone or baking sheet using a large flat spatula if necessary. Cook for 12 minutes. Let rest before slicing.


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