I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Being in quarantine for so long will do that to you. But I’m not complaining! I know there are worse things than quarantine. I actually LOVE being home, so maybe that’s why I don’t mind it as much. But anyway, I’ve been thinking about all of the restaurants and food I ate growing up. It’s where I get some of my inspiration for recipes from.
I’m sure most of you have heard of or been to CPK, short for California Pizza Kitchen. In Michigan, we lived about 5 minutes from one and we would frequent often, mostly for birthdays or special occasions. It’s a chain of restaurants that serves California style pizzas, and many other dishes. I always ordered the same thing. I was about 13 or 14 years old at the time and I don’t know what possessed me to order the “Goat Cheese Pizza.” But time after time, I did order that pizza and it was so delicious. It has been years since I’ve been to a CPK! And I have no clue if it’s even on menu anymore, but this is my inspired version. Eggplant & Goat Cheese Pizza!
This cheesy pizza is topped with thinly sliced yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced eggplant, fresh mozzarella and creamy goat cheese crumbles. While it bakes the goat cheese slightly spreads and melts into the eggplant and peppers, creating the most delicious flavors. Ever since trying that pizza as a teen, goat cheese has been one of my favorites. And i’ve always loved eggplant. It’s peak season for them and they are so delicious and ripe. I used a graffiti eggplant. I find it to be a little sweeter than a regular eggplant. So good!
HOW TO MAKE EGGPLANT & GOAT CHEESE PIZZA
- Start with your favorite pizza dough recipe, or store bought.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Firstly, add some tomato sauce all over the surface.
- Next, Add your fresh mozzarella cheese, then your peppers and scatter the eggplant all over.
- Crumble your goat cheese evenly all over the dough.
- Lastly, drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and crushed red pepper (optional)
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees, until the cheese is melty and lightly golden brown.
Eggplant & Goat Cheese Pizza
- (2) 9×13 sheet pan or (1) 12×18 sheet pan
- Rolling Pin
- 1 lb pizza dough
- ¼ cup tomato sauce or pasta sauce
- 4 oz eggplant thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow pepper thinly slice
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
- 5 oz goat cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper optional
- ½ tsp koser salt
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- Preheat your oven to 450°
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pizza dough and place onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- First, spread the tomato sauce all over the dough. Then lay your fresh mozzarella. Add your sliced bell pepper and eggplant on top. Be sure to spread them out.
- Now crumble the goat cheese evenly, all over. Drizzle with olive oil, crushed red pepper and salt.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown. Top with fresh basil and Enjoy!
- You can use whatever pepper you have on hand. I happen to love the slight sweetness of a yellow bell pepper. Red and green are delicious too.
- The crushed red pepper is optional. You can leave it out if you don’t like spicy foods.
- This recipe is good for 2 small pizzas or 1 large one.