Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Eggplant Focaccia

Eggplant Focaccia (Adapted from Everyday Food)

8 to 12 ounces eggplant, sliced into 1/4" pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
cornmeal, for dusting
16 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (I used our favorite recipe)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded Emmentaler cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

In a colander, add eggplant and season with salt, tossing to coat. Set aside and let stand for 30 minutes. Arrange slices in a single layer on a couple layers of paper towels - top with a two more layers of paper towels and press to remove excess moisture.

Place a heavy duty baking sheet, inverted (flat bottom side up), into the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Dust another inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2" thick. Transfer dough to cornmeal dusted pan.

Drizzle dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, rubbing to coat the entire surface. Scatter the top with 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cheese. Arrange eggplant over the top, then drizzle with remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle oregano over the eggplant, followed by the remaining cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap on focaccia. Carefully remove hot baking sheet from the oven and slide assembled focaccia onto the top. Place into the oven and bake until the bottom is golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before servings.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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