Some months ago, I posted a recipe for Romesco sauce, a wildly delicious roasted red pepper sauce with a ton of uses. I've been testing new things I can do with this incredible sauce. So I was in possession of some fabulous eggplant I received as part of my CSA share over the summer (yes, I filmed this one months ago and I'm finally posting it!). This is super easy to make and can be a snack, lunch, brunch or dinner. All that is to say, you will absolutely love this French bread pizza with Romesco sauce and eggplant.
Getting Creative with French Bread Pizza: Let's Kick it Up a Notch with Romesco and Eggplant
See, if you're making a batch of romesco sauce, there's a lot of it. But I've come to discover that freezing it in smaller containers is so helpful. I cook a lot and freeze a lot of food, often just to make sure that it DOES freeze well. I won't just say something freezes well if I haven't tried it myself. The suspense is killing you, I can feel that. Does romesco freeze well you say sitting on the edge of your seat. Yes, this romesco sauce freezes well. Like, I defrosted it in my refrigerator and it tasted exactly the same as when I made it. Yay!
My habit is that I usually have little frozen containers of romesco sauce in my freezer and I try to find new ways to use it. So when I made this French bread pizza, I had a gorgeous eggplant from my CSA farm share and I knew I wanted to do something special with it. I love the simplicity of cubing eggplant and sautéing it with onions and garlic. It's a very quick and easy way to enjoy this incredible vegetable, although technically I think eggplant is considered a fruit. Toast some French bread, shave a little fresh parmesan cheese for the top and this French bread pizza will rock your world.
Community Supported Agriculture: A Great Way to Support Local Farmers
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is all about supporting local farms by buying a share of their harvest before the growing season and receiving farm fresh produce every week for a certain period of time. As I did last year, I purchased a summer farm share at Clark Farm in Carlisle, MA.
Each week during my summer share, I arrive at the farm to pick up amazing fresh salad greens, kale, swiss chard, napa cabbage, carrots, broccolini, strawberries, zucchini, and so much more. It’s such a relaxing summer ritual and I truly enjoy knowing I’m eating healthy, organic veggies that were locally grown.
I highly encourage you to look into any CSA opportunities within your community. I know it can get a little pricey depending on where you are. However, you can always split a share with a friend and make it your weekly “thing” to pick up your CSA together. I did this years ago with a friend of mine and we loved it. Most farms offer different size shares to suit different needs.
Easy Steps to Making French Bread Pizza with Romesco Sauce and Eggplant
Romesco Sauce and All the Ways you Can Use It
There are many ways you can use romesco sauce and I'm sure you will think of more. You can always slather this awesome sauce on top of a piece of grilled chicken or a thick meaty fish like halibut or striped bass. Serving the sauce with some crusty bread for dipping works too. Here's some more ideas to get you going. Happy cooking!
- Really Great Romesco Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich w/Romesco, Dill Havarti & Arugula
- Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash Drizzled w/Romesco
- Garlic Shrimp Crostini w/Romesco Sauce
- The Ultimate Roasted Veggie Sandwich (swap out the pesto for ROMESCO!)
French Bread Pizza with Romesco Sauce & Eggplant
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 pieces 1x
Time to kick it up a notch on pizza night with this easy French bread pizza with Romesco sauce and Clark Farm eggplant. It’s simply delicious.
- 1 medium eggplant
- ¼ cup olive oil (for cooking eggplant)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 small cloves of garlic, finely diced
- ¼ of medium onion, sliced thin
- More splashes of olive oil, as needed
- ½ loaf of French bread
- ½ to 1 cup of romesco sauce
- ¼ to ½ cup parmesan cheese (shaved or shredded)
- Chopped parsley, optional garnish
- This French bread pizza is made with Romesco Sauce. You can make the romesco a day before and store in the refrigerator. It’s best to bring it to room temperature to spread on top of the pizza.
- Chop the top and bottom tips off your eggplant. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the eggplant.
- Cut the eggplant in half length-wise (my video shows this well). Next, cut the eggplant into thick strips and then into cubes that are approximately the same size.
- Transfer the eggplant cubes to a large pan and put the heat on medium-to-high. Let the pan heat for a minute or two before adding the olive oil.
- Add the olive oil to the hot pan with the eggplant and stir to coat very quickly. Eggplant loves olive oil and will absorb it very fast. You want it evenly distributed.
- Once coated, season with salt and pepper and give another stir. Turn the heat to low and put the lid on the pan. It’s will need to steam for 5-8 minutes.
- While the eggplant is cooking, finely dice your garlic and thinly slice your onion. (my video shows this well).
- After eggplant has steamed for 5-8 minutes, remove the lid, turn the heat back up to medium and clear a space to add the onions in the center of the pan. Add a splash of olive oil to the onions and stir the onions in the center of the pan to coat in oil for about a minute. Then mix the onion with the eggplant and let it cook for 3 minutes or so, stirring a few times, until the onions are soft and starting to brown a little and the eggplant is tender all the way through.
- Clear a place in the center of pan again and add the garlic with a splash of olive oil. Cook garlic for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir and combine with eggplant and onions. Cook and stir another minute or two and it should be done. The eggplant should be very tender. Remove from heat.
- Cut your French bread in sections of about 5 inches in length. You can make them any size – I found 5 inches worked well. Lay them on a toaster oven sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees (preheated) for about 10 minutes or so. All toaster ovens and ovens are different. We’re cooking bread until it’s toasty and crunchy. You’re smart – you’ll figure it out.
- While the bread is getting toasty, you can shave the parmesan cheese from a block of cheese like I did (see video) or you can grate it with a box grater. Or you can use the bagged stuff. I used a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices from the chunk of cheese, then I stacked the slices and cut them lengthwise down the middle to make little cheese strips. This pizza isn’t about the cheese so you could even skip the cheese entirely and it will still be awesome.
- Once the French bread is baked to your crunch preference, spoon the room temperature romesco sauce onto the bread, covering the top. I used a kitchen tablespoon and used approximately a heaping tablespoon per pizza. Next, using a smaller spoon, I added the sautéed eggplant on top of the Romesco. Lastly, add a little parmesan cheese to the top of the eggplant and you’re ready to serve.
- You can chop optional parsley as a garnish and serve on a platter if you’d like.
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