grilled-eggplant-and-olive-pizza Recipes

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

A few months ago, a friend called to say that she was telling her office mates about how I love to grill pizza and they set to searching for my recipe on this site and couldn’t find it. Gulp, I said, I’ve just never written it up! From that day forward, I made it my Summer Priority to walk you through pizza on the grill, but I have failed at each turn. Either we’ve made the pizza too late in the evening and the pictures came out anything but appetizing, or the day I decided to try again, it has rained. Seriously. If you want thunderstorms to suddenly threaten, let me promise to make you grilled pizza for dinner.

18 green oliveseggplanteggplant, grill pangrilled eggplant slicespizza dough, part whole wheattopped, ready to finish cooking

Last night was the final straw, or the day I finally threw my hands in the air and declared that a proper introduction to grilled pizza will probably have to wait until next summer. (Fortunately, Jen and Dietsch at Last Night’s Dinner won’t make you wait that long.) I have had this grilled eggplant and olive pizza on the agenda even since I spied it in this month’s Gourmet and knew that it immediately needed to get in my belly. Four days later (a typical time lag these days from “idea” to “execution”, sadly) I had the ingredients amassed, the energy to give it a try and even a friend’s yard to grill in, thus of course, the weather went downhill. But I persevered, climbing into the far reaches of our linen closet where we stash kitchen stuff that doesn’t get much use (whispering hello to my 12-inch wedding cake pans and canneler molds), unearthing my cast iron panini pan (hey, close enough, right?) and setting to grill to my heart’s content, weather be damned.

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

And despite the fact that I generally feel indoor grilling is a sham — once you remove the smoldering charcoal flavor, the sun on your shoulders and the beer bottle condensating on a weathered picnic table, what’s left that’s worthwhile? — it was going along swimmingly, that is, until Alex came home and declared it “partly cloudy” in our apartment; whoops! Anyway, smoky plumes emanating from the kitchen aside, if this pizza can be this good cooked on a shoddy indoor grill pan, I can only imagine how dreamy it will be seared over fire in your backyard or on your rooftop this weekend. Smoky eggplant, briny olives and blistered bubbles of provolone… my friends, what are you waiting for?

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

Pizza, previously: We are a little bit obsessed with pizza here at the Smitten Kitchen, so no pizza recipe on this site would be complete without a tour of the pizza madness that has come before it. First, there are two dough recipes on the site, a Really Simple Homemade Pizza Dough and a slightly stepped-up one that includes a splash of wine and honey. There’s also a post that includes lots of pizza-making tips in one place: 10 Paths to Painless Pizza Making. Beyond that, there are a ton of untraditional pizza recipes in the archives, from a Broccoli Rabe version with Caramelized Onions to an Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza, not to mention a Potato Pizza, which is exactly as transcendent as you would expect from carbs topped wtih carbs topped with rosemary, olive oil and sea salt. Check out the full list here, and don’t be surprised if you never order pizza delivery again.

One year ago: Grilled Eggplant with Caponata Salsa, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Two years ago: Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza
Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009

This recipe defies many of the things that I usually preach about pizza, namely that I generally go for pizzas that are thinner and less overloaded with toppings. You’re also more likely to get the results you want from them on a grill or in an oven. But this one — with its pre-grilled eggplant slices piled thick and melty and blistering-prone provolone — has got me rethinking my thin pizza biases because it’s hearty, smoky and delicious.

Makes 4 hearty dinner servings, or 9 appetizer-size portions

1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pound eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
1 pound store-bought pizza or homemade pizza dough at room temperature (1 1/2 of this recipe will yield a 1-pound dough)
5 ounces sliced provolone, cut into short thin matchsticks (1 1/4 cups)
Handful pitted green olives, coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

To make this pizza on a grill, or in a grill pan: Stir together garlic and oil. Brush some of garlic oil on both sides of eggplant and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill over direct medium heat, covered, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. Cut into roughly one-inch pieces and set aside.

Stretch dough into about a 12- by 10-inch rectangle (or into the shape of your grill pan, which in my case, was square) on a large baking sheet or your counter and lightly brush with garlic oil. Oil grill rack, then put dough, oiled side down, on grill. Brush top with more garlic oil. Grill, covered, until underside is golden-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Using tongs, return crust, grilled side up, to baking sheet. Scatter eggplant, cheese, olives, and parsley (whoops, forgot mine) over crust. Slide pizza from sheet onto grill and grill, covered, until underside is golden-brown and cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. (If you’re using an oven-safe grill pan, you can slide the pan into a preheated 500 degree oven at this point, as we did, which gets the toppings that much more blistered.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and a red pepper flakes.

To make this pizza in the oven: You can either fry or roast the eggplant slices, brushed with garlic oil, until tender. Prepare the pizza as you would any other, rolling or stretching out the dough, mounding on the toppings and sliding it onto a baking sheet or pizza stone in an oven that has been preheated to its top temperature. It will be ready in about 10 minutes.

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150 comments on grilled eggplant and olive pizza

  1. Great photos! I see…you grill the pizza to get a crust on the grill, but the cheese is melted in the oven. *smacks forehead* When we tried to grill and melt cheese on our pizza on the actual grill earlier in the summer….it was an epic fail. The toppings and cheese were melted perfectly but the underside was…BLACK and totally burnt. Boo! Ended up eating scrambled eggs for diner that night.

    But this makes me want to try again! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Seeing that yellow cast iron pan feels a lot like when I would look at my poster of Kirk Cameron. Is that normal?

    Pizza dough and I don’t have the greatest track record, but the thought of a slice of that gorgeous pie with a frosty glass of pinot gris just may motivate me to try…once again. And I’m sorry for the alcohol reference. I was in your shoes exactly one year ago and am still making up for lost time. I’m drunk right now, in fact. Hey, it’s FRIDAY morning!

  3. We’ve been experimenting with grilled pizzas this summer and I love the added flavor of the grill and smoke. Combined with the olives and eggplant – oh my does that sound good! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. I’ve never heard of grilled pizza before, but it looks amazing- and it just so happens that there is a shiny new grill at my house just waiting to try this recipe! Thanks!

  5. This looks delicious. I’ve never actually heard of provolone before (this from a girl who used to have a poster of cheeses up in her office!), had a quick read of its Wikipedia page but I can’t really imagine what it tastes like/which cheeses it is similar to-any hints?

    1. Sian — It’s a mild tasting semi-hard cheese (I hope I’m using the right term; think slightly softer than cheddar or swiss in texture, but just barely) with a strongish “nose” (heh, yes, I mean it’s a bit stinky) that melts well. I’d say you can use anything you can get that sounds like it would work the same, or just use mozzarella.

      Taryn — I immediately started scheming using a bag of roasted (with olive oil, lemon zest) frozen artichokes instead of the eggplant on the pizza, maybe chopped a little. Maybe more up your alley?

  6. That browned cheese looks to die for. I am a sucker for anything with melty cheese. I don’t even like olives or eggplant= but I want to eat your pictures!

  7. The pizza looks great and I am a grilled pizza junkie- I wish I could get photos of my food to look as good as yours! One key for grilling pizza is to flip the crust over then top- and move the pie to indirect or low heat source- All of my toppings do melt on the grill without burning

  8. Oh pizza. Perhaps one of my favorite foods on the planet, simply because there are so many variations (and I’m not just talking toppings). I FINALLY got around to making it myself for the first time a few weeks ago. I must admit though, I used it more as a way to pass a day too hot to spend outside than out of any real ambition of my own. Because when it’s 114 outside, why not crank up the oven to 500? Once the kids are tired and full of carbs, you can all retire to the cool side of the house, and nap the heat away.

    On a more relative note, this looks beautiful. I didn’t think I liked eggplant until recently. Now I just realize I don’t like stringy, greasy eggplant, or under-cooked planks off the grill that are so common. Grilled until meltingly soft and delectable? Pass the platter, please.

    Eeks, I really need to stop with these essays I’ve been posting. I suppose my broken blog is the culprit–when you can’t write, that’s when you want to.

  9. eggplant and olive sounds like a fabulous flavor combination for pizza! I use capers on mine a lot, but I’ve actually nevr had olives (which is weird now that I think of it, since that’s actually a fairly standard topping, huh?)

  10. Hey, thanks for the shout-out, lady! Dietsch promises me his final installment in the grilled pizza trilogy is coming soon (his technique, using a Weber kettle and hardwood charcoal). Your version looks fabulous – I think we’re going to have to do a smoky eggplant and olive topped version very soon.

  11. Doh! You beat me! I had grilled pizza planned two weekends ago, planned on doing a blog post, and then a giant thunderstorm settled in at about three in the afternoon and didn’t let up until morning. I ended up making it in the oven, but it’s not the same and haven’t had the chance to make it again. My husband a I make grilled pizza all the time and it is SO fabulous! Once you try it you will never, ever make homemade pizza any othe way!

  12. Delicious! I’m so glad you posted this recipe, because I’ve had disastrous results when attempting to grill pizza. The eggplant looks like the perfect topping to a perfect grilled pizza.

  13. This is a very timely recipe as I am staring at 8 eggplant just picked from my garden wondering what I am going to do with it all. A girl can only eat so much eggplant parmesan in the summertime! I can’t wait to try this!

    Ps.I love your yellow grill pan!!

  14. We made this pizza a few weeks ago and braved the scorching heat to grill it in the backyard. I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts about thin pizza and the less is more motto. I like my pizza thin, crispy, with very few toppings. This pizza makes you rethink those silly notions as soon as you bite into that smoky eggplant. We topped ours with a bit of lemon zest when it came of the grill. Perhaps we’ll go all in with using more and throw a few caramelized onions on top next time?

  15. I just did a post on grill pizza! I love it–and I’m going to have to try adding eggplant to my usual vegetable topping mix–I never would have thought of using it!

    Great ideas, as always!

  16. I’ve been making grilled pizza all summer, whenever we have guests. I just roll the dough into individual sized pizzas, and let each person top theirs with whatever they want. Always a hit, and always so easy. Yum! I’m not an olive fan, but the eggplant looks great!

  17. What? Are you sitting in my garden wondering what I’m going to do with the eggplants? I’ve been making your zucchini pizza AND your zucchini bread like there’s no tomorrow. I think maybe eggplant bread is not a good idea.

  18. Yum! I just got over my fears of homemade pizza making last week and now I am on a huge kick! I’m gonna have to try this combination. Looks great!

  19. I bought a baby eggplant today. I take this post as a sign that I should use that eggplant to make this pizza. Thank you! Will post my results.

  20. The pan is actually a greenish, smashed pea color, I just didn’t do a good job white-balancing that photo. It is from Mario Batali, who seems to now only sell it in “chianti”, see here.

  21. I am SOOO drooling just looking at the pics. Been wanting to make pizza since I moved in with my hubby (newlyweds!) but he’s been making excuses. Well, I just told him no more excuses! I’m making this for dinner tomorrow. That’s it. I’ve made the one with potatoes and onion and rosemary before and it was the bomb. I just LOVE your site!

  22. Oooo..I love that pan! I have a cast iron grill pan but the ridges are really high and thin and I have had a terrible time using it. I fear pizza would be a disaster on it. But..I don’t really need one, as I live in the SF Bay area and we can plan a bbq just about any time we get the urge as we get no rain in summer. I have no excuse for never trying grilled pizza, I just haven’t done it. I will now. Thanks, Deb. It looks great. Oh..and swiss cheese is excellent mixed with mozzerella on pizza (and lasagna too) as it adds some much needed flavor. That was a tip from the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith, during his TV hey-day and it’s right on!

  23. I love love love grilling pizza. I think grilled eggplant olive pizza is on the menu tonight for dinner! Maybe I’ll smoke the eggplant a little on the grill first before the crusts go on.

  24. You are a true story-teller. (“whispering ‘hello’ to my 12-inch wedding cake pans…” – you’re amazing.)

    Eggplant is one my all-time favorite vegetables, and I will be sure to try this recipe soon! I would LOVE it with a generous sprinkling of sumac on top. mmmm

  25. After grilling my first pizza, I decided that I never wanted to bake pizza in an oven again. Grilling gives the pizza a crispy on the outside, soft on the inside crust. And that smoky flavor…mmm! Your combination of eggplant (great grill marks) and olives sounds amazing!

  26. Thank you Deb! Talk about timely blog posts, (from a selfish perspective of course). I really wanted to make pizza tonight, but its so HOT. Answer… the grill of course. And fresh ingredients straight from the kitchen garden. Fantastic. You are divine!
    (And on a side note, my nephew arrived Thursday morning at 7:59am… all 20 inches and 7lbs and 13 beautiful ounces of him…. oh that beautiful new baby smell!)
    :) Michaela

  27. Beautiful pizza. We almost exclusively grill our pizzas now – SC weather is good for that, at least! And the dough is always your ‘slightly sweeter’ recipe — big thanks. Last weekend feautured pizza studded with grilled eggplant and tomatoes from the garden… and looking at your photos makes me want to make it again with olives.

  28. Oh yum. This would be good for vegetarians at barbeques, because more often than not, vegie burgers can be dry, bland and disappointing.

  29. Oh yum. This would be good for vegetarians at barbeques, because more often than not, vegie burgers can be dry, bland and disappointing.

  30. OMG! We just had this for dinner. It is da BOMB! My hubby added grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. It was sooooooo good. He’s not a fan of the eggplant but I loved it. The grilled eggplant was sweet and smoky. definitely worth the effort of firing up the grill. I just love this. Thanks so much!

  31. We only grill our pizza, even in the middle of a Minnesota winter, snow and all. I’m with you on the sham of indoor grilling, but do what you must to get the pizza grilled rather than baked. It is worth it!

  32. This looks great. I made your goat cheese and zucchini pizza twice in a row, it was amazing. For those posters who mention people who don’t like eggplant: a lot of times people don’t like the bitter taste some eggplant can get, especially the larger ones. If you cut your eggplant, spread it out on paper towels, salt it, let it sit then wipe the salt and water the salt will draw out off, it really takes away a lot of the bitterness. I can’t wait to try this on the grill, now to call my friends with grills…

  33. This looks fantastic – we should try this. Quick question about the eggplant: do you let them sit with salt on them for a while, to get out some of the moisture? We do that when we cook eggplant but I didn’t see that in your recipe so I was curious if the moisture was a problem in the finished product.

    I’ve never made grilled pizza but I should try! Also I want to make my own pizza dough which I’ve never done before. Shouldn’t be hard, not sure why I haven’t yet!

  34. pizza on the grill is great. i cook one side of crust, flip, then quickly top cooked side with the goodies of choice. then close grill to help melt cheese. works great if cheese is very thinly shredded/sliced. a good dose of olive oil before placing the dough on the grill helps. rustic looking would be the best way of describing it, but tasty!

  35. I just made this tonight. Double super-yum spectacular. I added a little goat cheese on half (’cause I’m indecisive and afraid of commitment). Also tasty. And on a 90-something degree day in muggy Chicago, I really enjoyed a delicious, fresh dinner that didn’t heat up my kitchen.
    Deb, you are a genius. I am now full and happy and very grateful.

  36. This recipe looks and sounds fantastic. I love the way you sliced the cheese into ribbons, so appealing.
    I have a dumb question on the Mario Batali panini press. I bought one and grill on it often, but have never made a panini. Do you preheat the top of the pan too, or just use it to press the sandwich and then flip it?

    1. Kate — I haven’t made a panini in it yet, though I’ve had it for almost two years. Anyway, I would preheat the top. You could rest it on or in the base for a couple minutes while it heats up, and of course use a pot holder to take it out. I’d spray the top too if you’re using cooking spray.

  37. YUM! Of course it’s raining outside, so the grill factor will have to wait for me too. But yours looks so delicious I am inspired to buy the ingredients and pray for sunshine.

  38. This looks absolutely mouthwatering. Its great that you are able to cook and eat your way into your pregnancy cravings. All the best in this beautiful phase of your life.

  39. I made this for dinner tonight and it came out wonderful! It was my first attempt at grilled pizza and I was happy with the results. I did think that it needed a “sauce” under the toppings, so next time I might add a thin layer of tomato sauce before the eggplants, etc.
    I love the detail you provide in your instructions, and your photos. Your photos are what motivated me to make this, as well as other recipes on your blog. I am a new dedicated follower! thanks.

  40. Just made it tonight and it was fantastic. Very rustic looking and tasting. Although I did use cheddar cheese and it had a bit of the grilled cheese sandwich flavor. My fire was hot and I almost burned my finger when I first put the dough on the grill. The dough got stuck on my finger and It was a close call.

  41. There’s been soo much eggplant on my Google Reader tonight and it’s making me want to cook with it big time. This looks SO amazing. I wish I had a real, outdoor grill :(

  42. yep, I think this may be in our near future…we’ve been meaning to try grilled pizza for-ev-ah & it’s just too blaming hot to do it in the oven right now in Texas. so I shall hunt for eggplant & local cheese at the farmer’s market tomorrow!

  43. Beautiful job! I used to agree that indoor grilling was silly too, but have recently re-discovered our Mario Batali press (in orange!). I just moved to a new house and for some reason the Mario grill came unpacked first (probably because it’s so freaking heavy, we brought it last). With half the space and most of our pots and pans still packed, we’ve made great use of it! The best thing we did was grill corn on it- yes, whole cobs, fresh from our CSA box, stripped from the husks, oiled and pressed like panini. It worked great! Dotted with grill marks, caramelized kernels next to juicy hot ones… and only a few exploded and popped and the fire alarm only went off once. Toasts of all kinds, panini and veggies have been great on it too.

  44. Deb, I don’t believe it! I just made, based on inspiration from a favorite pasta recipe of mine, a carmelized onion-eggplant-sausuage-fresh herb-fresh mozzarella pizza. Here I thought I was the first person to have the idea to put eggplant as the star on a pizza, and along comes this post! I am not ashamed though. I am actually quite delighted at the idea that little ol’ me and the great Deb of Smitten Kitchen both were drooling over grilled eggplant pizza.
    I hope many others made and enjoyed this delight.

  45. That looks fantastic. I don’t have a grill (and no balcony either) so I will have to deal with my oven, but in any case, I will try to let go of the thin crust bias as well. Yummm.

  46. I’ve been planning to search out grilled pizza recipes, as we have one window air conditioning unit in our entire house, and there’s no way I’m turning the oven to 500 degrees! (My hubby might ask for a divorce if I try!) This looks absolutely beautiful. I’ve got a gazillion onions, so I think I’ll carmelize or grill some of those for part of the topping, too.

    An idea for the person who doesn’t like green olives: I’d do oil-cured. I love the taste and texture of oil-cured black olives with eggplant.

    One question for you: I notice no sauce. We’re kinda a sauce crew–does it work on the grill? Do you have suggestions as to how runny/thick it should be?

    Thanks!

  47. I have tried grilled pizza three times this summer and cannot manage to get it to cook evenly. Some spots char to a crisp while others are still a bit doughy… any suggestions for how I can get it onto the grill without it loosing shape and cooking unevenly? Thanks!!

  48. Please please please post something new!!! Grilled pizza sounds great, maybe one day I will try it, but also being quite pregnant the eggplant olive pizza turns my stomach every time I look at it. No offense like I said some other time it would be great, I’m blaming my dislike on the hormones. But I can’t stop checking your website, becuase my crazy hormones love the rest of your recipes so please take pity on a fellow pregnant lady and give us a new recipe!
    Please!

  49. My parents just got back from Italy and got me a bottle of really really good truffle oil. Do you think it would be good on this pizza if I subbed it for a little bit of the olive oil? I feel like it would be sacrilege to use this oil in mashed potatoes for some reason.

  50. Funny, I served this same recipe on Friday night to our supper club for a garden theme menu. I’m glad to read your suggestions related to it because I didn’t particularly care for it but think that I should have. I’m going to try it again and see if it works out a little better. Maybe the burnt bottom is what threw me off. Can you suggest an alternate cheese to use if this one doesn’t strike my fancy?

  51. After noticing that I had purchased an eggplant from the Farmers Market, my husband forwarded me this recipe. Tonight was our 2nd anniversary, so I knew that it would make him happy if I took his *hint* and made him a pizza.

    In our small, whitebread, suburban town, I had a hard time finding store-bought pizza dough. So I thought to myself, “Papa Murphy’s sells uncooked pizza… surely they will sell me uncooked dough!” Not so much. So I bought a cheese “pizza” with no sauce. An $8 well-spent, if you ask me.

    Since we currently only own a TINY charcoal grill, I went the oven-cooked route. And I added sauteed onions, because who doesn’t like those? And truly, this pizza was heaven in my mouth. The flavor combinations were incredible. I was full after two pieces, but I wanted to eat the whole thing. Happy anniversary to us both!

    PS… the thing that my husband did to make ME happy for our anniversary: a weekend in St. Louis. The thing I did to make HIM happy: pizza. Life is good.

  52. I’ve got to try this. I usually just make the basic margherita when I make my pizzas on the grill (and then occasionally throw on arugula and proscuitto when I pull it off the grill), but I have a garden full of eggplant right now, and this sounds perfect.

  53. count me in as one of those never heard of grilled pizza before who now must try this before summer is over!! ajaj, how is that for a lag between idea and execution — now i’m giving myself the whole season! :-)

  54. thanks for the inspiration. We ended up eating too much pizza last night. We were going to try out our local pizza store last night and after staring at the menu of pepperoni, lack of decent veggies and a very sorry salad bar, we’ve bought a pound of dough and went home.

    I made eggplant pizza that’s been chopped and sauteed in a couple of garlic,a bit of caramelized onion, chicken sausage and a rough chop of a leftover mixture of pearl moz and cherry tomatoes and parm and a light pesto. when the guy sat down and looked at the pie, he goes “cool!!! leftovers in a pizza!”

    there are only two of us. we almost ate the entire thing (+beer). what a man-ly dinner!

  55. I was inspired by your recipe and made it last night, using half of your “Pizza even sweeter” dough recipe (with wheat/white flour mixed). The grilled eggplant was great! I added a small grilled zucchini and sun dried tomatoes. I also subbed black olives for green and mozzarella for provolone because it’s what I had on hand. I cooked the pizza on my pizza stone, set on my gas grill. It was so delicious!

  56. I love to grill pizza and this combo is amazing! Of course I had to up the ante by adding anchovies- I do love the salty!

  57. Oh- PS- I love your site! Your photographs are beautiful and I have never been disappointed by one of your recipes. Bravo!

    PPS- Good luck on your upcoming arrival! I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy stocking up my freezer with food to reheat/pull out and bake. Saved my life!

  58. wow. One, you’re my hero for cooking this in the nyc heat. Two, these photos are so incredibly beautiful, they turned your ingredients into art!

  59. We tried this tongiht with a gluten free crust. I added some carmalized onions as well. Delicious! What great flavors!

  60. Made this recipe a couple of nights ago in the oven, frying the eggplant slices on the stovetop first. (skinny eggplant from the farmer’s market)

    Used a whole wheat crust, and lemon-garlic green olives from whole foods deli. Loved the provolone. Delish!!

  61. i grilled pizza this weekend for the first time, for 12 people and it was fabulous. the taste of the crust was unbelievable from the grill. many thanks! we also had espresso chiffon cake w/ choc buttercream….yum

  62. We sort of made this this weekend. We used a pre-made store bought crust and baked it in the oven. We did grill the eggpplant. It was very good. We are trying to eat more veggies. Eggplant is new to use, so this was a great recipe to try it.

  63. I made the pizza crust…totally yummy. Best tasting, with tasting being the key word. I hate pizza crust with no taste. Perfect.

    I made my crust and put it in the fridge covered in plastic wrap that I sprayed with nonstick. We ended up not using it until two days later. Family events kept trumping dinner at home. Not a problem. When we finally got around to pizza, the dough was perfect. I gently spread the dough ball out by using my knuckles and palm with just a tish of flour. Then, I let it rest and come up to room temp while I sliced up the homegrown tomatoes, puple onions, mushrooms, olives and while the oven and stone were heating up. By the time all was done….all was ready.

    Very good! Thank you again for such a great site.
    Nella

  64. Just made this tonight! I don’t often make pizza, and the dough kept trying to return to it’s original shape, and not stay in a nice, neat rectangle. The dough had been warming on my kitchen counter for about 40 mins. Anyone have any suggestions? The grilled eggplant was delicious (and I didn’t used to be an eggplant person!). Great combination of flavors. We were worried we’d burn the bottom of the crust, so we turned off the grill after we flipped it while piling on toppings. Then left it off, closed the cover, and 5 minutes later, it was perfect.

  65. I made this last night and it was delicious! Thanks Deb! I had the same trouble as Lisa, though, which I often have with pizza dough – it was really hard to stretch it to the rectangular shape. Pizza dough always wants to stay in its neat round ball for me. Does anyone have any tips for making dough cooperate better? Thanks in advance!

    1. Lisa, Elektra — I never know how to respond to the rolling questions because what I want to say — “Just roll harder! Really press down!” — might come off poorly, but I don’t mean it to be flippant. It’s really how I get my thin. That said, as the dough “puffs” more, it becomes easier to roll so it is also possible that a little more rising time is in order. It can’t hurt to give the second rise another 10 minutes, see if that does the trick. Good luck!

  66. I came. I saw. I ate eggplant on my pizza.
    Which I NEVERr would have done before. Sending you some link love from my little corner. Thanks for introducing me to such a fab topping.De-lish!!!! I added green pepper and some left over chicken too.

  67. this pizza was perfect & a variation: thinner crust, roma tomatoes oven roasted a la your recipe and smushed together with a little extra olive oil over the dough as a very deconstructed sauce, coins of mozzarella, and lots of fresh basil leaves (a grilled margharita).

  68. Deb, after drooling over your pizza recipes but feeling too intimidated to try them, I finally broke down at Whole Foods and bought a ball of their bland-but-easy dough, came home, topped it with pineapple tidbits and ham and canned health-food-store tomato sauce, and baked at 400 on a non-stick baking pan. You know what? It was great. The bland dough was so springy that it wouldn’t stretch thin, so it wasn’t crispy, but I ate a few pieces cold (mmmmm) for breakfast and dinner until it was done. Now that I’ve seen your recipe I may just try this one (after reading all your pizza recipes and tips). The eggplants are so beautiful these days…

    The only downside was that the mozzarella got rubbery; I don’t know if it was the brand I used or what. Any ideas on the mozzarella?

  69. I made this pizza for dinner tonight but since our grill is sadly broken, we baked it in the oven. Fortunately, we are having a cool weather spell this weekend. The pizza was fabulous and Deb, we are all singing your praises. (Even our 13 year old was swooning over the goodness!) Our ultimate goal is to have it again on the grill but in the meantime I could not wait. You understand.
    I have a tip regarding the dough recipe, in particular the stretching woes experience in the comments above. I actually made a double batch of the dough 2 nights ago. I let it rest the full 2 hours, then the 20 minutes. Using half the dough, I baked 1 pizza that night and though it was a little tricky to roll and stretch, we made it work. However, the remaining dough was wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. Tonight when I used the remaining 2 day old dough, it was perfect consistency for stretching. We did not even need a rolling pin – we just stretched it by hand! So I would highly recommend making it a day or so in advance…I REALLY noticed a difference.
    We had been buying the fancy organic crusts from the co-op, but they are expensive, we never have them on hand when we really need and on top of all that we are trying to reduce our consumption of packaged goods. This is a delicious solution, made with simple ingredients we have on hand – and no waste! I love you Deb.

  70. I”d love to know what kind of indoor grill you use, being a New Yorker and having no backyard myself, I’ve really begun to loathe the word “grill” in recipes. I’ve eyed some, but haven’t had the courage to purchase. Suggestions?

  71. My mom LOVES eggplant so I want to make this for her ASAP! What else would go nicely with the eggplant instead of olives?

    p.s. Your baby boy is to die for!!! So precious! Congratulations on the new addition to your family ;)

  72. I have been eyeing this pizza since you posted it. I finaly made it tonight and added some ground turkey sausage and it was wonderful.

  73. I just made this a few days ago, and OMG it was OUTRAGEOUS. I did sweat the eggplant for at least an hour (I don’t really like it otherwise), and I added some roughly chopped artichokes. This combination of flavors is so unique and amazing! The parsley, even, which is normally little more than green flecks of decoration, added a freshness that was in perfect counterbalance to the decadent gooiness of the cheese and eggplant.

    I let my crust rise at room temperature (in my chilly, drafty kitchen) a loooong time, maybe 5 or 6 hours, and it was very easy to roll out. Deb, you hit the ball out of the park with this one. I will be making pizza at home more often now, thanks to the smitten kitchen.

  74. Just made this for dinner. We pre-grilled the egpplant, but since we were using frozen (gluten free) pizza dough, we just made it in the oven. I also switched out the green olives for some pre-spiced black kalamata olives. It was AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe!

  75. First off, I love that you can sort the recipes by vegetable. I have more eggplant than I know what to do with coming from my garden, and though I was skeptical about eggplant on pizza, this was really tasty. In spite of by grill pan being really small and me breaking the dough in the process of grilling it the first time, the pizza turned out amazingly good, the flavor and texture were really good and it was very filling. I used your dough recipe with 1/3 whole wheat flour and I think the wheat flavor went well with the eggplant and green olive.

  76. I made this last night and it was heavenly. I substituted gruyere for the provolone and roasted the eggplant in the oven. Such a great pizza!

    Deb, I am obsessed with your site. I am a new stay-at-home mom and have never enjoyed cooking until now. Due to our strict budget, I’ve had to stop ordering out and start cooking all our meals. It was a daunting task, but your recipes are straight forward, delicious, and easy enough for a novice like me to follow (you have no idea how much I rely on your photographs for help!). Thank you!!!

  77. WOW was this good. I made it tonight in the oven and it was amazing. Thanks so much for this recipe, as well as for your detailed and confidence-inspiring post on pizza dough.

  78. just made it. delicious as usual. i love that smitten kitchen is my go to recipe site! if you notice an uptick in alaskans reading your blog, blame me. i blab about you to everyone i know! happy new year!

  79. Hi Deb… I recently discovered your blog and LOOOOOOOOOVE you and your recipes. It’s just my kind of food you post. I find myself coming back again and again to look for inspiration.

    Made this pizza last week, and our guests raved over it. I didn’t find Provolone, so I used mozzarella. Oh, and 4 cloves of garlic, haha. I also made your pizza dough. It came out perfect!

  80. Made this last night but was completely mystified as to how you managed to oil the dough rectangle and then place it upside down on the grill, without completely mangling it in the process…..

  81. I am not good at making pizza however I am curious about this pizza’s taste. Besides, this recipe looks easy so i will spend my afternoon making this pizza. Hope the result will be fine.