POE's French Bread Pizza

So. I was trying to be clever with the title of this recipe.  Here's how I got there:

My French Bread Pizza consists of Provolone, Olives, and Eggplant --->  I live in Baltimore --->  Baltimore Ravens ---> Mascot's Name: Poe ---> Hence, Poe's Pizza.  I'm pretty sure I could have done better... but once you taste this pizza, you'll forget all about the name ;)

  What You'll Need:
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
1 large eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup olives, Green & Kalamata
Flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup juices from the olives
12 ounces, smoked Provolone cheese, shredded
Tomato/Pizza Sauce, 1 jar
Crusty French Bread, Large Loaf
Salt & Pepper

 Start by slicing and dicing all of your ingredients.  The shallots don't have to be chopped finely or diced, I simply sliced mine one time though. The eggplant should be sliced into about 1-inch cubes, and I quartered my olives.  
Coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil.  Wilt down the shallots first (about 5-6 minutes), then add your minced garlic and eggplant.  Because of the texture of the eggplant, it will soak up all of the excess oil in the pan very quickly, so add more olive oil, a few turns of the pan, to ensure the eggplant is coated.  Mix everything and cook down until all the contents of the pan are soft, folding together continuously, about 10-12 minutes.  During this time, while everything is cooking away, add the olive juice to the pan.  (I'm willing to bet a nice dry white wine would work well here, too.)  After this mixture is very soft and cooked down, add finely chopped parsley, and remove from the heat. (If the parsley is cooked throughout too long, it will lose it's nice green color.)

Now, preheat the oven to 450-degrees.  Take your French loaf and slice it in half, horizontally.  I removed some of the inside of the bread so there could be a nice piling of ingredients.  Then coat the bread generously with olive oil and garlic.  Pop the bread in the oven for about 10 minutes, to get it nice and crusty before you put everything on top.  Then, start piling!  I piled accordingly: tomato sauce, some shredded cheese, the eggplant & olive mixture, and then lots more cheese.  Then, I put a few slices of fresh tomato on top and put it back in the oven to warm everything through and melt the cheese, probably about another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty.  After you take the pizza out of the oven, you can garnish the tops of the tomatoes with some fresh basil leaves, too.  Don't do it before you put it in the oven, though, because that's what I did, and they got all crusty and brown. ;) Enjoy!


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