naan pizza with aubergines & cilantro pesto

in a hectic week, where maybe a dinner date was canceled, nothing sounds more appealing than preparing a simple, fuss-free dinner for two. something that says ‘i care for you’ but doesn’t consume all of the quality time to prepare. this is maybe not the healthiest of sorts, but definitely a new favorite: naan pizza. it took me only 20 minutes to make it – from scratch! and it incorporates two of my all-time favorite ingredients: cilantro and aubergines.

4 plain naan breads (either home-made or store-bought – i like the bought ones very much)
2-3 aubergines, cut into relatively thin slices
2 bunches of cilantro, washed, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
1 bunch of basil, washed and coarsely chopped
1 piece of jalapeno (or other relatively mild green chili), deseeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lime, juice
1 point of a knife mild honey
1 point of a knife harissa

1 mozzarella bulb, depicked
olive oil
fleur de sel
1 bunch of cress for serving

heat the oven to 220 degrees and upper grill function. first, salt the aubergine slices and put aside. then start with the cilantro pesto: combine the cilantro leaves, jalapeno, cloves, lime juice, honey and harissa in a blender, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and enough salt (it’s always surprising how much salt a pesto needs). blend everything for a minute, until the pesto is smooth.

now drain the excessive water from the aubergines and pat them dry. place on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil and a few pinches of fleur de sel. place under the grill and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until aubergines are slightly ‘dry’ and golden. take out and put aside.

prepare the pizza: evenly distribute a few spoons of the pesto mixture on the naan breads. place a few slices of roasted aubergines on each naan, and distribute some mozzarella over it. put in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. before serving, place some cress on top to give the naan pizza a little extra color kick.

this could also be a very nice snack or appetizer for dinner guests, served in little chunks. or you could try it with real, italian pizza dough (which i’m absolutely planning on doing, soon).

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