The First Mess // healthy vegan recipes for every season »

Masthead header

crispy eggplant + harissa flatbread with greens


You’ll have to forgive me for paraphrasing on this one. I remember reading this passage when we were away, on the beach in the glorious sun, a few months ago. I can’t for the life of me remember where I first took those words in. I’ve flipped through all of the sand-filled books and print publications that I toted along and simply cannot spot it. Some serious googling or more page flipping wouldn’t be too hard, but my eyes have been watering up and un-focusing involuntarily with some frequency lately. It might be time to step away from any and all screens for the day and spend less time focusing on tiny things. The vibrance of this thrown-together dish (with some outstanding local + hydroponic eggplant), against a grey mid-March backdrop, had me thinking of that lost passage. So here we are.

There is a woman in the back of a cab, somewhere in India. From memory, she is most definitely North American. She is travelling through the country in a way that suggests leisure, waiting for inspiration while cultural immersion takes place and seeming “otherness” surrounds. She notices prayer flags of every hue and condition flying from pointed rooftops, hanging off of farm gates, tangled in the streets, strewn over doorways of run-down homes, whipping in the wind on the tops of mountains and trees. They’re everywhere. She asks her cab driver about the flags, why the everywhere-locales, why the variety in appearance. His response is calm and straightforward, without a trace of glorification or pomp: God loves colour.


crispy eggplant + harissa flatbread recipe
serves: 4-6
notes: I followed a harissa recipe from Food 52 pretty much to the letter (I left out the all spice + nutmeg) and was rather pleased with the results. I do use it sparingly since this Tunisian spice paste is quite fiery. If you make the whole recipe, there’s lots of other things you can do with it. Add a dab to a simple vinaigrette, use it as a marinade for proteins, mash it into some cooked sweet potatoes with a dollop of yogurt, drizzle it onto your avocado toast–many possibilities.

scant 1 lb whole grain pizza dough (I purchased a really great locally made one, but I have a recipe here too)
1/4 cup of harissa (I used this recipe from Food 52)
1 small eggplant
1 shallot
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar
4 cups baby arugula
big handful of mint leaves
big handful of flat parsley leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
salt + pepper
1 tbsp dukkah spice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rip a piece of parchment big enough to fit the sheet pan you want to use. Lay it on the counter and begin rolling out your dough on top of it. Aim for a 10-11 inch circle, about 1/3 inch thick. Transfer the dough and parchment to your sheet pan. Apply the harissa to the dough evenly.

Trim the ends off of the eggplant and slice it into thin rounds. Arrange the rounds on the dough.

Peel and trim the shallot. Slice it as thin as you can. Scatter slices on top of the eggplant.

Drizzly the top with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottom seems brown and crisp and the eggplant has shrivelled up a bit.

While the flatbread is baking, place the arugula into a medium bowl. Roughly chop the mint and parsley and add to the bowl as well. Drizzle the remaining olive oil onto the greens, add the squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Once the flatbread is removed, drizzle with the honey or agave nectar. Cut flatbread into slices. Scatter the greens and herbs on top of the slices and sprinkle dukkah spice all over the greens. Serve warm or at room temperature.

You might also like…

green goddess pizza + broccoli stem pesto

I needed a bit of goddess-y feeling in my life lately. Had a weird, mega busy week that was ample in frantic runningView full post »

sweet chili eggplant + arugula toss

Oh have I got a good one here! This dish is smoky, sweet, spicy, crunchy-salty, a touch bitter and a little fresh at theView full post »

grilled butternut and radicchio pizza + trials

This recipe kind of came to be out of spite. I originally intended to offer up a seasonal and sweet little pumpkinView full post »


pin it subscribe tweet this post share on facebook email to a friend
Angela13/03/2013 - 9:22 am

simple, beautiful and surely delicious:)

thelittleloaf13/03/2013 - 9:39 am

Absolutely stunning. Simple but perfect and exactly the kind of thing I love to eat :-)

Caitlin13/03/2013 - 10:19 am

what a beautiful flat bread pizza. i love when non traditional toppings are used and these look so lovely and delicious.

Lauren13/03/2013 - 10:32 am

This looks BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to make this! What a great way to change it up with eggplant… I love eggplant but sometimes I get bored of my regular recipes. Can’t wait to try this!

carey13/03/2013 - 10:37 am

Oh, this speaks to me, in many ways. The dish feels so very similar to the something old, something new winter-meets-spring cravings I’ve been having lately. I’m not quite ready to let go of the earthy, hearty foods, but I will sure as heck brighten them up with lots of greens and fresh herbs. And that passage has inspired me to reconsider the direction in which I had taken my photos for an upcoming post. (:

Nourish Your Roots13/03/2013 - 12:13 pm

Yum! Looks heavenly. I haven’t seen eggplant in recipes in what seems like ages…so good that they have an appearance here. Reminds me of summer :)

Heather13/03/2013 - 12:41 pm

Beautiful photos – and color! I am really digging this recipe.

Richa13/03/2013 - 1:51 pm

gorgeous pictures! i love harissa and everything on this flatbread working beautifully.

Eileen13/03/2013 - 1:56 pm

So beautiful! And that amazing arugula is really making me crave a visit to the spring farmer’s market. :)

Courtney13/03/2013 - 4:00 pm

This looks like the perfect end of winter/beginning of spring meal! Now I’m curious about that passage, too :)

Ashley13/03/2013 - 4:40 pm

This looks outstanding. I am obsessed with your photos + blog. The end.

Kristy13/03/2013 - 5:18 pm

I’m in love with the photos in this post! And the combination of flavors on this flatbread sound divine! :-)

Shira13/03/2013 - 6:39 pm

Absolutely stunning Laura! What a healthy and wonderful combo with those fresh greens. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! xo

Natasha13/03/2013 - 10:32 pm

Gorgeous! Looks so comforting and delicious.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar14/03/2013 - 10:22 am

This is so cool! Love the sounds of this!

sara forte14/03/2013 - 12:36 pm

yes yes. a light pizza heavy on the greens. I love it. hope your eyes feel better. no fun.

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen14/03/2013 - 6:43 pm

Oh yum, that looks so delicious! I love your photos!

Isabelle @ Crumb15/03/2013 - 8:56 am

This looks positively lovely – like a hybrid of pizza and salad, and yet something entirely its own. I don’t eat nearly enough eggplant, but this beautiful flatbread could very well change all that. :)

meatballs & milkshakes15/03/2013 - 1:42 pm

So beautiful! I would love some of this right now! Perfect friday afternoon snack!

Kathryne15/03/2013 - 10:35 pm

That passage is perfect, Laura, and so is this flatbread. (Spicy sauce with greens? Yes!) I’ve neglected my google reader lately (boyfriend’s place doesn’t have wifi, which is mostly awesome) but have been out of touch with my favorite blogs. I want to stick a fork in all your latest posts! I mean that in a good way, of course. :)

Kathryn17/03/2013 - 12:26 pm

Oh the colour and light and brightness of this post. Just what I needed to read on this gloomy Sunday. I love how you always offer a new and fresh perspective both here and elsewhere.

kelly17/03/2013 - 9:19 pm

god loves color! LOVE IT

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen19/03/2013 - 3:09 pm

Yum, your flatbread looks so delicious and I just love your photos!

hungryandfrozen20/03/2013 - 4:01 am

This is a stunner, I feel like I could just reach in and grab it. Possibly because of how gorgeous and huge your photos are.

I’ve never heard of that passage before, but it’s a nice one. Maybe you dreamed it!

Kasey21/03/2013 - 7:19 pm

So beautiful (the flatbread and your words). I want a slice. xoxo

Adri {Food-N-Thought}26/03/2013 - 11:12 pm

This eggplant/arugula combination looks amazing!

[...] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, [...]

[…] crispy eggplant + harissa flatbread with greens […]

[…] Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess […]

[…] Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess […]

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*