Eggplant & Summer Pepper Focaccia Pizza with Arugula-Parsley Pesto & Lemon Ricotta

Eggplant & Summer Pepper Focaccia Pizza

with Arugula-Parsley Pesto & Lemon Ricotta

55 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Chefs, this summer veggie pizza is about as gourmet as it gets. Focaccia—an Italian bread known for its deliciously spongy texture—forms the base for a rainbow of seasonal produce and a trio of cheeses. In addition to fresh mozzarella, we’re topping the pizza with dollops of lemon-seasoned ricotta and crumbles of ricotta salata­—a firmer, aged version of the soft cheese. We’re also adding a fresh arugula and parsley pesto, eggplant and rings of summer peppers, for a touch of sweetness. (Depending on what’s best at the farms near you, your peppers may be green, yellow, red or orange.)

See Plans
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the eggplant into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Slice the bread in half horizontally. Cut out and discard the stems, ribs and seeds of the peppers, then cut the peppers into ¼-inch-thick rings. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Finely chop the walnuts. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

Brown the eggplant:
2 Brown the eggplant:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the eggplant in a single, even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.

Assemble & bake the pizza:
3 Assemble & bake the pizza:

Place the bread on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top with the browned eggplant, mozzarella cheese (tearing into small pieces before adding) and peppers; season with salt and pepper. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and melted. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes.

Cook the arugula & parsley:
4 Cook the arugula & parsley:

While the pizza bakes, in the pan used to cook the eggplant, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the arugula and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and wilted. Transfer to a cutting board. Finely chop the cooked arugula and parsley; transfer to a medium bowl.

Make the pesto:
5 Make the pesto:

While the pizza continues to bake, add the walnuts, Parmesan cheese and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like to the bowl of chopped arugula and parsley. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the lemon ricotta & serve your dish:
6 Make the lemon ricotta & serve your dish:

While the pizza continues to bake, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the baked pizza to a serving dish; evenly top with spoonfuls of the lemon ricotta and pesto. Garnish with the ricotta salata. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the eggplant into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Slice the bread in half horizontally. Cut out and discard the stems, ribs and seeds of the peppers, then cut the peppers into ¼-inch-thick rings. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Finely chop the walnuts. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

2 Brown the eggplant:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the eggplant in a single, even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.

Brown the eggplant:
Assemble & bake the pizza:
3 Assemble & bake the pizza:

Place the bread on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top with the browned eggplant, mozzarella cheese (tearing into small pieces before adding) and peppers; season with salt and pepper. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and melted. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes.

4 Cook the arugula & parsley:

While the pizza bakes, in the pan used to cook the eggplant, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the arugula and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and wilted. Transfer to a cutting board. Finely chop the cooked arugula and parsley; transfer to a medium bowl.

Cook the arugula & parsley:
Make the pesto:
5 Make the pesto:

While the pizza continues to bake, add the walnuts, Parmesan cheese and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like to the bowl of chopped arugula and parsley. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the lemon ricotta & serve your dish:

While the pizza continues to bake, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the baked pizza to a serving dish; evenly top with spoonfuls of the lemon ricotta and pesto. Garnish with the ricotta salata. Enjoy!

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