Roasted Sugar Snap Peas & Eggplant "Meatballs"
Shredded fontina, asiago & parmesan cheese, roasted sugar snap peas with Maldon sea salt flakes, sesame sauce (rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, cayenne & soy sauce), eggplant “meatballs” (with bread crumbs, grated manchego, cilantro, garlic & eggs)
Ingredients: 1 ball of pizza dough flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone olive oil salt & pepper ½-1 lb sugar snap peas Maldon sea salt flakes (or another fancy salt, like fleur de sel, or just regular sea salt) Shredded cheese (we used a blend of fontina, asiago & parmesan)
For the sesame sauce: 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon maple syrup pinch of cayenne pepper
For the eggplant balls: 1 large eggplant, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes 1 cup breadcrumbs ¼ cup grated manchego 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 egg, lightly beaten
Directions: Turn your broiler on high and let it preheat. Toss the peas with about a tablespoon of olive oil and spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven and broil, turning over halfway, until they are starting to brown in spots but still fairly crisp, about 5 minutes or so. Take them out and sprinkle with the fancy salt.
When you take the sugar snap peas out, preheat your oven to 550° F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the eggplant cubes. Boil them for about 10 minutes, pushing them down as necessary so they remain immersed in the water.
Drain the eggplants in a sieve, pushing them down to strain out as much water as possible. This might turn them to mush, but that’s okay. Once you remove as much water as you can, chop them finely. They may look chopped enough already, but this will help break up any long fibers that you might not notice.
In a large bowl, stir the eggplant, breadcrumbs, cilantro & garlic until well combined. Mix in the egg and some salt & pepper to taste.
In a large skillet, heat ½-inch of olive oil over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, form the eggplant mixture into 1-inch balls and add them to the pan, starting with just one to make sure it’s hot enough to sizzle.
Fry a few balls at a time, turning so they are browned on all sides, a couple minutes each. When they are finished, take them out and let them dry on a paper towel-lined plate. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters.
To make the sesame sauce, whisk together all the ingredients and set aside. Next, prepare your dough using the instructions on the right.
When the dough has baked for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with the cheese, followed by the sugar snap peas and the eggplant “meatballs.” Sprinkle some more cheese on top and drizzle with the sesame sauce. Pop it in the oven, bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown, and enjoy!
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