Italy is the kingdom of Pizza and Naples is its capital. It is not surprising that Italians, despite being notoriously die-hard when it comes to feed themselves and their families, love to experiment in the kitchen to create different pizza bases and make meals, I’d say, “pizza-ble” (definition from my personal dictionary: food gussied up for a pizza twist). However, after all their culinary experiments they end up with a cuisine rooted into their culture and they never stop serving the classic and timeless Pizza Margherita and Spaghetti all’arrabbiata.
Italian food traditions are now successfully branded; after all we’re all easy to tempt with a pizza topped off with fresh mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil on a layer of creamy and tangy tomato sauce. I bake pizza at least once a week myself, usually in the weekend to create a special atmosphere of festivity, and it is almost always a simple dough base with on top mozzarella, tomatoes and olives. If you like to find out how I make a dough for a thin pizza check my 8 Golden Rules to Make a Tasty Crusty Pizza.
I do also like to try out new recipes, though. Among the interesting alternatives to pizza dough that are getting popular on the web and on Pinterest, from the cauliflower crust pizza to the portobello pizza crust, I chose something that is light, healthy and, above all, versatile. This recipes can be served as an appetizer and even as a party food. I found inspiration from an italian food blogger, Chiara of La voglia Matta, a blog title that sounds like “The Crazy Craving” (love it!). You may not understand her language but it is still worth to pay her a visit if you’are a foodie looking for real Italian recipes (sometimes a pic is enough to get the idea of what is in the plate, in all the other cases there’s Google translate).
Since I love all things spicy I replaced tomato with Ajvar, a kind of relish popular in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, made by baking and grinding together red bell peppers, eggplants, garlic, oil and vinegar. A tasty and aromatic vegetarian spread that worked unexpectedly well on my aubergine pizzette (mini pizzas, in Italian)!
Eggplant Mini Pizza Crust topped with Ajvar and Mozzarella
- 1 eggplant
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup Ajvar
- 125 gr mozzarella cheese
- salt to taste
- Cut the eggplant into 4 half-inch thick slices. Season the slices with olive oil. Grill and then put them aside.
- Cut the mozzarella into slices. Put the slices of eggplants on the oiled oven tray. Spread with a teaspoon of Ajvar, top with mozzarella and season with a little salt.
- Bake a few minutes at 200 °C.