Most of you probably know that Finn and I live in Canada. Now, when we say Canada the first thing people think of is cold/snow/hockey/toques, and while that might be true for the majority of Canada (during the winter at least), it’s definitely not here in Vancouver. While other parts of Canada have been bombarded with snow and ice storms (already! In September!), we here in Vancouver are enjoying sunny, hot, cloudless, 28°C (83°F) weather.
Talk about total opposites of the weather spectrum. Welcome to Canada.
Normally this weather would be a good thing. The kids here are loving it – schools are on strike + hot, sunny weather = it’s totally still summer. My 14-year-old self would be basking in this extended summer vacation. But my 25-year-old self? Weeeell let’s just say I’ve already boxed up my summer clothes and pulled out my scarves/chunky sweaters/skinny jeans/boots and am
patiently anxiously waiting for the crisp weather to show itself.
Fall is my favourite season, and if it doesn’t hurry up and get here soon, we’ll jump right into winter and that just means snow and rain. I want sunny, crisp days where the sun shines through chilly air and I can bundle up in a jacket and scarf, sipping some hot apple cider while looking out at some snow-capped mountains.
I don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon, since the forecast is just calling for more heat (sorry to rub it in, eastern Canadian friends!). Despite my desperate yearning for Fall, I guess I can live with this weather for a little while longer. I am actually going camping this weekend for one final, outdoor adventure so I can take advantage of it while I can!
Today’s recipe is perfcet for those in-between season days: it’s great for a sunny, hot day (fresh, flavourful veggies! Goat cheese! Basil! Balsamic!) but also great on a cold fall day (warm, comforting, doughy pizza goodness). I make this pizza year round and it’s always one of my favourites.
Store-bought pizza dough is great to use when you’re stuck for time. The key to making this pizza great is to roast the eggplant and red pepper first, before baking the pizza. This makes them nice and soft without overcooking the pizza dough.
Cover the pizza dough with the sauce, roasted veggies, goat cheese and balsamic and bake on a preheated pizza stone until the crust is brown and crispy, then remove from the oven and top with freshly cut basil. So easy, so tasty, there’s no wonder why this is a regular meal in my house!
|Roasted Red Pepper, Eggplant & Goat Cheese Pizza|| |
- Dough: (makes two 12-inch pizzas)
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 1⅓ cup warm water
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 70g goat cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette, to taste
- A dash of red chili flakes (optional)
- Fresh basil, chopped
- To make dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine yeast and water and let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add in flour, olive oil, salt, sugar and Italian seasoning, and mix on low speed until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes. Dough should be tacky yet elastic. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place red pepper and eggplant slices on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bake for 15-20 minutes until softened. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 450°. Place a pizza stone in the oven while it's heating up.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and punch down. Split the dough in half, covering and storing one half in the fridge (unless you're making two pizzas, as I always do). Remove pizza stone from oven; roll dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer to pizza stone.
- Spread pizza sauce over the dough, add roasted red peppers and eggplant, crumble on goat cheese and top with a few drizzles of balsamic vinaigrette. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden. Slice, top with fresh basil, and serve.