I wish it could happen more often. For a brief time, everything seems perfect. It's a content feeling I would like to capture more often than I do. I just need to be thankful when it does happen.
For me tonight, it was that rare, perfectly gorgeous, late summer's evening. Warm. A gentle breeze. Beautiful light. The yard was stunning; the way it is this time of year (especially knowing what lies ahead for Minnesota in winter). The Pee-Gee hydrangeas are slightly tinged in pink. There are copious amounts of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, beets, and zucchini in the garden. The blue cabbage are massive. I couldn't imagine being anywhere other than my backyard at this moment. Oh... and there was pizza on the grill! Yes, it was all pretty perfect.
The Pizzas: One of the pizzas I made was Roasted Eggplant & Onion. I slice unpeeled Classic and Japanese eggplant about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the slices of Japanese eggplant in half; quarter the slices of Classic eggplant. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss eggplant with a VERY healthy drizzle of olive oil in a sheet pan with 1-inch sides. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding another drizzle of olive oil if eggplant seems dry. Peel one or two large, sweet onions and cut each into large wedges. Keeping wedges intact, transfer the onions to the eggplant. Continue to roast, stirring often, and adding more olive oil if vegetables seem dry. I add the onions after the eggplant because they tend to burn easily at high heat -- and they roast faster than the eggplant. It's important to stir the mixture often. When vegetables are roasted to your liking, remove from oven and sprinkle generously with fresh thyme leaves. Season to taste with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
To make pizzas on the grill: I use a recipe from Wolfgang Puck for the pizza dough (recipe HERE). After grilling the pizza dough disks on one side (over low heat), flip and drizzle top of pizza dough with olive oil. Cover with some eggplant-onion mixture and dot with slices of fresh mozzarella. Close the grill lid and "bake" the pizza until dough has browned on the bottom and cheese has melted.
I also topped pizza with corn and my garden, heirloom tomatoes. The recipe I used was Herbed Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad from theKitchn (recipe HERE). For the pizzas I left out the goat cheese that is called for in the recipe, and added fresh mozzarella when grilling the pizzas.
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