If you love white pizza, you’ll love this roasted eggplant fennel pizza! It has a whipped feta and ricotta base with toasted pine nuts, creamy roasted garlic cloves and an olive oil drizzle to top it off.
I’ve been in a major funk since getting home from Mexico on Sunday. It feels like the SAD that I normally experience every year at this time has been multiplied by about 5 million and I can’t stop brainstorming ways to get myself back on a plane and anywhere on the Baja peninsula because the freezing rain, low 30s temps and gray skies are literally ripping my soul out of my body.
Or so it seems.
This post is sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free, a 2017 partner of Running to the Kitchen.
If it was last Thursday, I’d be at the pool, on at least my 5th mai tai doble (always a doble because why not 2x the liquor when you can?) or mojito of the day and we’d be harassing the swim up bartender, Lucas to order lunch.
Lunch is pretty awesome when it’s all inclusive and you order no less than 10 things every day (granted there were 6 of us) and even more awesome when 3 of those things are amazingly delicious wood fired pizza.
Yes, pizza. In Mexico. I know.
Don’t worry, there was plenty of guac, margaritas and tacos consumed as well, but the pizza at the lunch restaurant at our resort was probably one of the main highlights of our trip if it’s not too lame to say that.
From the Mexican (which had beans and jalapeños on it) to the rib eye to the serrano and parmesan pizza, they were surprisingly delicious and we each inhaled a minimum of 3 slices every day for lunch (alongside nachos, guac & chips, caesar salads, calamari and quesadillas like the disgusting Americans we were).
The serrano and parmesan pizza was my favorite though. It had this gooey white sauce cheese thing going on (no tomatoes) and I could’ve probably eaten 2 entire pies myself if allowed.
So in an effort to ward off the winter blues and try to take my mind off the fact that my feet won’t be seeing flip flops for at least another 4 months, this roasted eggplant fennel pizza was born.
The base is a creamy white sauce mixture of whipped feta, ricotta and roasted garlic. If you eat this alone with a spoon and end up with only enough left for 1 pizza crust, don’t be surprised. It’s freakin’ unreal. Roasted garlic should be a food group.
Roasted eggplant and fennel are obviously a bit more of a winter addition than our pizzas in Mexico but a delicious one at that. The time and effort put into the toppings (which isn’t much but does require roasting first) is made up by the fact that I used Udi’s gluten free pizza crusts. No need to make your own dough in the morning and deal with rising times or fight with the store bought dough to try and stretch it out into that perfect circle (don’t tell me I’m the only one with that issue!), these thin and crispy crusts are ready for the oven and only need a few minutes to warm up and get that perfect golden brown edge thing going on.
From the salty garlic creamy cheese on the bottom to the roasted vegetables and the pine nuts, buttery roasted garlic cloves and parmesan topping, this (gluten free!) pizza is a welcome glimmer of happiness in this dreadful winter weather!
If I can’t have Cabo, I guess pizza will do.
Roasted Eggplant Fennel Pizza
If you love white pizza, you'll love this roasted eggplant fennel pizza! It has a whipped feta and ricotta base with toasted pine nuts, creamy roasted garlic cloves and an olive oil drizzle to top it off.
- 2 Udi's thin & crispy pizza crusts
- 1/2 small eggplant, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise then halved
- 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/2 bulb garlic
- 4 ounces feta
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 3 mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- small handful fennel fronds
- freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line and grease a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place sliced eggplant rounds and fennel on baking sheet. Wrap the half garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the eggplant and fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of oil on top of the garlic bulb. Place the baking sheet in the oven and the garlic in the oven on a rack directly.
Remove eggplant and fennel after about 15 minutes once golden brown around the edges. Continue roasting garlic until cloves are softened and buttery, about 25 minutes total.
Combine feta, ricotta, mint, 3 cloves of the roasted garlic (removed from its paper shell) and pepper to taste in a food processor. Process until smooth.
Spread the whipped cheese mixture evenly on the two pizza crusts. Place the eggplant and fennel on top. Garnish with pine nuts, fennel fronds, remaining cloves of roasted garlic and drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil on top.
Place the pizzas on a baking sheet and return to oven for 5-7 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Remove from oven, garnish with the parmesan if using and let sit for a couple of minutes before slicing and serving.
Check out the Udi’s community page for lots of great gluten-free info from recipes to health and wellness and everything in between!