Grilled Cornmeal Crust Pizza with eggplant, summer squash, goat cheese, prosciutto, and caramelized onions

I can’t believe it’s October already. There’s finally a little chill in the air, and for the first time in ages I heard “chance of showers” on the weather.  Yay! It’s funny to think that at this time last year, I was 2 months pregnant and had a strong aversion to pizza and anything that involved cooked vegetables.

Anyway, so last Saturday was really lame. It might have had something to do with my trip to the dentist earlier that day, where I learned of some impending fillings that I must deal with in the near future  :(.  Then I was feeling down about being in a dinner rut, and being a poor meal planner.  Fast-forward to Sunday — a much better day.  It started with a productive morning at the climbing gym with my mom, and then out of the blue a wonderful dinner idea dawned on me while I was sipping my Black IPA from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.

New Leaf Community Market sells these delicious cornmeal pizza crusts in packs of two. Aha! Two blank canvases on which to create the pizza of our dreams! We combined some grilled end-of-summer eggplant and summer squash with sliced fresh tomatoes, caramelized onions, goat cheese, prosciutto, fresh oregano, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Aha! A simple dinner. Worthy of company even! Some good friends of ours were in town, so we invited them over, made a quick salad, threw the pizzas on the grill to warm and crisp up the crust, opened a bottle of organic red wine (thanks, guys!) and enjoyed our masterpiece. I was happy to end the weekend on a joyful note.

  • Caramelize the onions. Peel 1 small onion, cut it in half, then place cut side down and slice lengthwise. Coat the bottom of a wide sauté pan with olive oil and a little butter. Heat over medium high until oil is shimmering, then add your onions. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onions turn dark brown, but don’t burn. Turn the heat down if it looks like they’re going to burn. 1 onion took about 20-30 minutes to caramelize. When they look pretty much done, add a small splash of balsamic vinegar to bring out the taste of the onions and sprinkle them with a little kosher salt. Delicious.  Transfer to an air tight container and store in the fridge until pizza time.
  • Chop some prosciutto into little bits and fry in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Transfer to a small bowl. This can be done ahead of time as well.
  • Preheat a charcoal grill.
  • Slice the eggplant and summer squash and drizzle with olive oil. Grill until done and nice grill marks form. The squash takes a little longer than the eggplant. Set aside.
  • Make the pizza! Start with laying some thinly sliced fresh tomato on the crust, followed by the grilled eggplant and squash slices, some caramelized onions, prosciutto, goat cheese, fresh chopped oregano, and a sprinkling of Parmesan Reggiano. Place pizzas on the grill and cook until the crust is golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from grill, slice, and enjoy.

and of course, an updated picture of Levi, still in his PJs on a Sunday morning.

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