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Tuesday
Aug022011

ROASTED EGGPLANT + ZA'ATAR PIZZA



I have three more months until my final manuscript is due for the cookbook, and to be honest with you, I've been a bit paralyzed in creativity. I know that process ebbs and flows, but when it comes to having a due date, I need a bit less ebb-ing and more flowing these days. I've kept a pretty good pace so far, a few bad calls (did you know that roasted pluots are, without question, too tart to eat? who knew?!), but I'm really happy with what we have so far. Now, about that last 30% of the content...

The thought of this combination had me quite excited yesterday, a little something different to throw on on your pizza. I would have hoarded this recipe for the book, but I have something similar in there already, so I can share the tastiness now as opposed to over a year from now ;)

I'm fairly new to using za'atar, and have come to love its unique acidity from the sumac, the ever familiar dried thyme and a bit of nutty crunch from the sesame seeds. You can buy it at spice shops, online, middle eastern grocery stores or Sarah at My New Roots has a recipe to make your own. It's great on top of hummus, used in a marinade, on grilled vegetables, etc.

ROASTED EGGPLANT + ZA'ATAR PIZZA // Serves 2-4
I give cheese measurements, but you can use your discretion depending on how you like your pizza, and how many vegetables you throw on there. The melty cheese is necessary in combination with the feta. The feta provides saltiness and flavor, but the mozzarella makes it a pizza.
I've given directions for baking, but you could just as easily do this on the grill if you don't want to turn on the oven. You can alternatively saute the eggplants, instead of roasting.

Tahini Spread
3 Tbsp. Tahini
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Pinch of Salt + Pepper

1 Eggplant
2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Generous Pinch of Dried Oregano
1 Small Yellow Onion, halved and sliced
Whole Grain Pizza Crust (This recipe gives you two crusts. You can also buy a fresh dough ball from your local pizza place for convenience)
3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
1 Tbsp. Za'atar
1/3 Cup Crumbled Feta
Fresh Thyme Leaves
Salt + Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 500'. Mix all of the tahini spread ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
2. Peel the eggplant (doesn't have to be perfect) and cut it in to small pieces. Drizzle it with the olive oil, generous pinch of salt and dried oregano. Toss to coat. Spread it on a baking sheet and roast it for 15-20 minutes. Note, you could also throw the onions on there to streamline the recipes, but I like to do it in a cast iron to really char those babies.
3. To char the onions, heat a pan over medium high heat with a dash of oil (I like to use cast iron here), add the onions and char them for about 10-15 minutes, tossing them around occasionally . The point is to cook them on high heat, without a lot of moisture, to char the sides, as opposed to caramelizing them.
4. Roll out your crust and put it on a floured/cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet. Spread the tahini spread across the surface, sprinkle the mozzarella, the eggplant chunks and charred onions, the za'atar, and the crumbled feta. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, and baking the pizza for 12-15 minutes until the edges crisp up. Garnish the top with a generous sprinkle of the fresh thyme leaves.

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Reader Comments (60)

I'm a huge fan of Za'atar, probably because I love Sumac so much. I tend to put it on everything! I also routinely eat whole roasted eggplant all by myself, so this sounds like my kind of pizza :) Good luck with the last leg!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

That sounds amazing, can't wait to try this combination of flavours.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This sounds so amazing. If this is the kind of stuff that doesn't make it into your book I can't wait to see what will be in it.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheart with companion

Your photography is mind blowing! I'm SO looking forward to the cookbook.

Why can't we live closer? I have cash.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

The top two pictures are gorgeous!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnu

Four years ago, I went on a trip to Israel and I came back with a bag of za'atar. I've yet to open it and every once in a while, I think about things to do with it. And here you are with yet another inspiring recipe. Thank you, darling!

I love all of the Middle Easter flavours that are having a party on your pizza. Looks gorgeous too!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrenee@sweetsugarbean

This pizza looks and sounds divine as I love Middle Eastern flavours. Gorgeous photos too.

Good luck with the last 30% of your book. I am sure you will come up with some wonderful recipes.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer (Delicieux)

how did you know i had a small container of za'atar in need of being used? I made some for a lovely roasted chicken recipe but had plenty leftover - can't believe I didn't resort to pizza - great idea!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

Oh Sarah, I've been looking for a pizza delicious enough to omit the cheese and I'm certain this is it! I'm positively addicted to the smokiness of sumac. Thanks x million! :)

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

what a fantastic combination! Love!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterL

SHUT. UP. i'm drooling.
and as for the cookbook: you'll get it. DON'T panic. panic is paralyzing. <3

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

I'm absolutely addicted to eggplant at the moment. Now I know what to do with it after I've roasted it (instead of just eating it straight from the pan while standing in my kitchen). Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

I just bought Za'atar at a specialty spice store because I absolutely love the taste but I was looking for creative ways to use it. Pizza is my very favorite so I'm in love with your recipe. I'm just now leaving for my summer vacations so I won't be able to cook it for a while but it'll sure give me a good reason to come back home. Thank you for sharing!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie (Food Nouveau)

Couldn't go past this one! What an amazing looking pizza! I had something like this from a hippie-esque market seller in France recently ... he cooked the bread on a hot round stone, lathered it with most of what you've just suggested, and rolled it up for me.

So, if that wasn't inspiring enough ... you've cinched it. I'm making this. :)

I'm not even crazy about eggplant and your photos are killing me!! So perfect and so appetizing. I'm in, eggplant pizza and all.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

Don't worry - no doubt you'll finish the book in a blaze of glory! If this pizza didn't make the cut I can't wait to see what did. It sounds so full of flavour.

Awww, we have to wait for over a year? :( Ok, ok these things can't be rushed I know! ;) I know the creativity will begin to flow and that 30% will be complete before you know it! Somehow deadlines seem to work better for me - puts a fire under my bum! and this pizza looks incredible. I've never tried Za'atar. I'm so curious now! I have several Middle Eastern stores nearby. I see a field trip in my midst. Thank you again for sharing!

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

What a fabulous idea! I love aubergine and za'atar, but have never thought of putting them together. I'll definitely try this recipe.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBest Salads

Eggplant, oregano and feta sound like a fantastic pizza topping!

This sounds so lovely Sara! Good luck with the last stages of the book, I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job! xx

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria @ Scandifoodie

Good luck with the writing of the book! This recipe made my mouth water, you have joined many of the things I love most, aubergines, pizza, tahini, za-atar... As an Italian I don't play with pizza that often, but this is so tempting.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaffettiera

um, yum, ooohh... i want.. mmm love zaatar.. delish. Hows that?

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Franzen

I love everything about this pizza! Zaatar is one of my favorite spices. I need to give Sarah's recipe a try. Good luck finishing that 30%, I'm sure it'll be amazing :)

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradrienne

Eggplant has always been my favorite pizza topping but I never thought of making it with tahini and za'atar. Absolutely stellar.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElle at Eat Boutique

I adore za'atar - I make a Fattoush salad with it all the time. Would never have thought to use it on pizza. I'm intrigued by this recipe, never something I would try without the thumbs up from someone like you.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Sara, this sounds so good! And I just happened to pick up my very first eggplant of the year yesterday at my farmers market. This just may be where it ends up :)

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

This is my kind of pizza! My husband often rolls his eyes on what I like to put on pizza, but why be ordinary?!

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

Eggplants are my absolute favorite!!! This looks so appetizing to me and the photographs are so perfect. Thank you for sharing this. I cannot wait for that cookbook.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVal

This sounds so darn delicious! Luckily I've got an eggplant waiting to to cooked into something delightful.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

You have outdone yourself again! I have complete faith in your ability to get 'er done, judging only from the fact that everything you produce is consistently innovative and fresh and awesome. You just need a cheerleading squad to remind you of that, right? :)

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley

[...] za’atar everywhere! Sugar and I both seem to be attracted to it right now.  Here’s a recipe that uses it on [...]

oh my deliciousness!

I made this last night and it was great!! Trader Joe's has a pre-made Tahini spread to save you some prep time.

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Yay for the cookbook! You can do it! :)

This recipe sounds fantastic. My husband's family is Palestinian and za'atar is on the table at every meal...we love it, too, and I'm always looking for new ways to use it. This looks great.

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I love this combination and what gorgeous photos! Hang in there with the manuscript. You can do it!! During my "deadline" phase last year, I always kept a bar of organic chocolate next to the computer. It's sad to say - it helped. :) I can't wait to see your book. I'm sure it will be gorgeous and full of amazing recipes - just like your blog!

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeliciously Organic

[...] Sprouted Kitchen’s Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza [...]

I have only recently become acquainted with your beautiful blog and I just wanted to tell how that I’m loving it! There are so very many food blogs around these days, a lot of them espousing vegetarian/ natural/organic cooking, so much so that it’s hard to think of any as particularly unique, unless of course they’ve been around since the dawn of time. I don’t know how long you’ve been operating this blog, but it doesn’t matter – your recipes speak for themselves! I love the ingredients you use; many are familiar and already in regular rotation at my house, but they are cooked and presented in delicious and new-to-me ways (this "pizza" for example!). I love it, and I can’t wait to try them all!

August 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy C.

I've been searching and searching for a new and interesting recipe for my precious baby Fairytale Eggplants. I think I've just found it! Thanks so much for posting... your blog is beautiful and inspiring!

August 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen Vignettes

You're totally speaking my language with this pizza, Sara! It looks filling but light at the same time. And za'atar is one of our favorite spice blends!

August 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn

Love this! I have total Za'atar on the brain as well. My favorite use is to roll a bit of goat cheese in the spice mix then stuff the cheese in a date. Heaven! http://community.worldofgood.com/jamieliving/blog/2011/06/28/cooking-with-fair-trade-spices-zaatar

I made this pizza this weekend and have been enjoying the leftovers for lunch. :) I always love an unusual take on pizza, and this was delicious. It was also my first time to cook with Za'atar---thanks for introducing me to it!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Oh, my. This is just what I wish I was eating right now. I roasted up some eggplant myself last night, but may have to through the leftovers onto flatbread for a version of this.

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

made this and loved it.. used carmelized onions instead, cause that's what I had on hand. while making it I was on the phone with a friend from across town.. she called after supper and asked if there were leftovers (it sounded too good)- so she came over just to try a slice and loved it too!

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercatherine

[...] Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza [Sprouted Kitchen] We can practically smell the za’atar from here. [...]

Just made this for dinner and it was so delicious! Got me out of my pizza rut - my new favorite. Thank you!

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterteresa

I made this recently with eggplants from my garden and it was absolutely delicious! I'm usually not a huge eggplant fan, but this is definitely something I'll come back to in the future. Thanks for sharing this!

August 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Made this for dinner tonight. My partner loved it - so did I. Thank you!

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I made this the other day-absolutely divine! Thank you, Sara! I topped it with pomegranate seeds:)

August 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershilpa

[...] roasted eggplant and za’atar pizza recipe from Sprouted Kitchen looks incredible, a nice change from my usual pumpkin, pine-nut and fetta or [...]

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChiGarden » Blog Archive

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