Most Fridays are pizza night in our house, last Friday it was Aubergine Pizzas Usually I make home made dough using wholemeal and white flour for a healthy, but light base. This weekend everyone was away so I decide to make something far less complicated and very healthy to boot!

Being a huge fan of aubergine, but also a seasonal eater, I am very excited when it starts coming from a bit closer to home. I have some in aubergine plants growing in my poly tunnel, started from seed and full of hope. Finger crossed this will be the year, as I have now tried unsuccessfully for many years despite being pretty green fingered.

Aubergine Pizza with Basil Ricotta

Serves 2-3 but doubles easily

1 large aubergine
10 cherry tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper

6 tbsp ricotta (see below for vegan tofu ricotta)
14 leaves of basil, reserve 4
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice

hard Italian cheese

Preheat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 7/Fan 180. Slice off the top and bottom of the aubergine. then cut into discs about 1 inch thick, you will get about 5 to 6 slices out of a large aubergine. Using a pastry brush, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray. Add cherry tomatoes to the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the basil ricotta. Stack the basil leaves, roll into a cigar and carefully slice thin ribbons of the basil. In a bowl mix the ricotta, garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in basil.

Remove aubergine and flip on to the other side. Top with basil ricotta and place 2 cherry tomatoes on top of each slice Sprinkle with hard Italian cheese. Return to oven and cook for 10 more minutes.

*To make vegan, replace ricotta with tofu ricotta and sprinkle with nutritional yeast instead of hard Italian cheese. Mix 100 grams of firm tofu with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper.

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