Adventures in Preserves and Pizza.

I recently cracked open a jar of that pickled eggplant.  As part of the ongoing series of canning classes I’ve been teaching, I’d been asked if I could please lead another pickling class because ‘pickling is fun’.  Indeed it is.  I knew I could still get eggplant, so I figured I should actually sample the pickles before making them again.  Served on some nice baguette with feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, pickled eggplant is a lovely antipasti.

photo6As part of this past Tuesday’s class, I served samples of the pickles with accoutrements, which meant I brought home the leftovers that amounted to about half a jar of pickled eggplant and some feta cheese.  I decided to make pizza for dinner last night and as I was staring into the fridge for topping possibilities, I wondered how weird would it be to put the pickled eggplant on a pizza. You know, make a pizza version of that appetizer.

DSCN6405

Now that my good camera is dead, we’re back to lousy point & shoot shots. This does not at all capture the beauty that was this pizza.

I coated the crust in olive oil, added a handful of shredded mozz as a base, some chopped kalamata olives, some slivers of fresh sorrel from the window box on the back porch (my one garden success story of the year – sorrel!) along with the pickled eggplant and feta cheese.

Holy cow it was GOOD.  As in, we will definitely be eating that again good.

I also made a plain cheese pizza using the pizza sauce from Preserving by the Pint. Quite possibly the best cheese pizza I’ve made at home.  The sauce is reminiscent of the one Tiger Pies served – Tiger Pies being the small pizza shop I worked at in college, where the sauce would simmer all day until it was just right, where Tuesdays and Saturdays were fresh bread days and if you were lucky, Hadji would make the sauce the same day as the bread and all the employees would pop in after class and help themselves to fresh, hot bread dipped in that sauce throughout the afternoon and Hadji yelled at all of us that he cooked for actual customers and not just us, to please leave something for him to sell. (Hadji being the late twenty-something Native American manager of Tiger Pies who shook his head at the antics of us kids, who bailed us out & fed us without question.  A den mother of sorts.) For years, I’ve searched high & low to recreate that sauce (Hadji had the recipe in his head) and I can finally say this is the closest I’ve gotten.  It is quite simply, the bomb.

10 thoughts on “Adventures in Preserves and Pizza.

    • Becky says:

      It was feta, not goat. Very Greek inspired, especially with the mint in the pickle.
      So many good memories of Hadji smacking my hand as I went to grab another loaf of bread. He never failed to remind us he always had to bake more than he should have because we ate so much.

    • Becky says:

      Basically the eggplant has been marinating in red wine vinegar with some mint. Thrown on the pizza with feta & olives and yes, it’s a whole new level of yum. It’s definitely like something you’d find on a good antipasti bar.

    • Becky says:

      Eggplant is like tofu – alone it doesn’t really have flavor, but marinate it and it can be the bomb. Pickled eggplant is just a really good marinade.

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