Grilling pizza at home on your BBQ is the next best thing to having a wood-burning pizza oven in your backyard. Lightly smoked, crispy crust and gooey cheese make this grilled eggplant and Carmen pepper pizza irresistible.
During a weekend get-away to Downieville, California, I was introduced to a great little gardening shop on Main Street, that was quaint and relaxing. We wandered through the small shop wanting to bring everything home. The small containers of fresh herbs filled the small space with an aroma that reminded me of a small kitchen in Italy. Rosemary was dancing everywhere, we were eager to get home and cook. We were really intrigued by the many different pepper plants, it was the greatest assortment we had ever seen in a gardening shop. We settled on two new-to-us plants, the Carmen Pepper and the Caliente Pepper, one was spicy and one was sweet. Perfect harmony for our urban garden.
I kept hoping that our peppers would be ready by now, but they are only starting to fully ripen. For this recipe, I decided to use a couple of Carmen peppers. This pepper is a sweet roasting pepper, and it grows to about 6″ in length. It is great roasted or grilled, the latter being what I decided to do with our bumper crop of 5 peppers.
Grilling these peppers until lightly charred added a tasty dimension to this otherwise sweet pepper. Really they were great on their own, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt, and were even better on this pizza.
This pizza recipe combines grilled eggplant in addition to the Carmen peppers. There is also a lot of fresh mozzarella and thinly sliced red onion to round out this amazing vegetarian pizza. We think you are going to love it.
More Grilled Pizza Inspiration
- Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza
- Grilled Corn Cilantro Blue Cheese Pizza
- Grilled Balsamic Onion and Padron Pizza
Recipe: Grilled Eggplant and Carmen Pepper Pizza
pizza dough – use homemade or store-bought
2 small eggplant – used an Italian version but use what you like
3 carmen peppers or other sweet peppers if you cannot find Carmen
1/4 of red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
a drizzle of olive oil
egg – optional
Preheat BBQ grill to 400.
Cut the eggplant into slices and lightly coat both sides with olive oil. Place on the grill.
Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Lightly coat with olive oil, then place on the grill.
Grill over medium-low heat for 4 – 5 minutes, then flips everything over. Grill for another 4 -5 minutes until lightly charred.
While the veggies are grilling, roll out 1/4 of the pizza dough onto a floured surface.
Place the rolled-out crust on a cookie sheet or a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with some cornmeal. This prevents sticking.
Once the eggplant and peppers are finished grilling, remove and set aside. Let cool slightly, then cut into thin slices.
Lightly oil the grate of your grill – do not burn yourself.
Place the pizza dough on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Flip with tongs and grill for another 2 minutes.
Remove the dough from the grill, and place it on a cutting board.
Spread a small amount of tomato sauce on the pizza crust. Then layer the cheese, eggplant slices, and red onion on top of the crust. Scatter the Carmen peppers over the top.
Place the pizza back on the grill.
Drizzle lightly with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some Maldon salt, and grill until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. This will take about 5 – 8 minutes depending on how hot the grill is. I keep the temperature at about 350 – 400.
If you want to add our egg to your pizza, place a raw egg in the center of the pizza and cover it with the grill lid. It will take about 10 – 12 minutes to cook the egg.