Kale Caesar with Eggplant & Bruschetta

August 8, 2014

 

 

Buffalo mozzarella, massaged kale with Greek yogurt Caesar dressing, polenta croutons, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, grilled eggplant, bruschetta (with tomatoes, red onions, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar)

Recipe

 

Ingredients:
1 ball of pizza dough
flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 eggplant, sliced about ½-inch thick
1 ball buffalo mozzarella, shredded
½ cup Parmesan, coarsely grated
½ log pre-made polenta, cut into cubes
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 bunch kale, massaged (it’s important I swear!) & leaves torn off of stems


For the bruschetta:
1-2 heirloom tomatoes (or regular tomatoes, whatever), diced
¼ cup diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of sugar
salt & pepper to taste
6 leaves basil, thinly sliced or torn
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil


For the Caesar dressing:
¾ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

 

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 550° F. Before you start cooking, you should drain your eggplant. Lay the slices out on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let them sit for about half an hour on one side, then salt the other side and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, start on the croutons. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until it starts to glisten. Right before you throw the polenta on, I like to turn it back down to low so that you don’t have hot oil sputtering in your face.

 

Then once the croutons have settled a bit, turn the heat back to medium and flip them with a spatula. Continue to flip the croutons occasionally until they are golden brown on all sides, then take them off the heat and set them aside.

 

To prepare the bruschetta, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Same goes for the Caesar dressing, although for that you’re going to want to combine it in a food processor or a blender.

 

When your eggplants are nearly ready, preheat your grill pan to medium-high. When it’s hot, brush the slices with olive oil and grill each side, so that you get a nice char but you haven’t cooked them to the point of being mushy.

 

Next, prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you’ve baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Top it with the mozzarella and the eggplant slices, followed by the bruschetta, pine nuts, polenta croutons & Parmesan.

 

Pop it in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is a nice golden brown. While it’s baking, toss your massaged kale with the Caesar dressing. When you take the pizza out, you may want to blot it a bit with paper towels if the melted mozzarella has created some puddles on the dough. Then top it with the kale and enjoy!

 

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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