Friday 15th December 2017
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Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients
For the aubergine bake
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small knob of butter
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – crushed with salt
Fresh herbs of your choice
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1 aubergine – cut into chunks
1 courgette – cut into chunks
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

For the pizza dough
500g strong white bread flour
325ml lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons caster sugar
3 cheeses of your choice for the topping; I used Lincolnshire Poacher, Cote Hill Yellow and a rare but delicious Yarborough Blue Goat’s Cheese

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Recipe by Dominic Franks, Belleau Kitchen

Anyone in the county who takes a look outside their window at this time of the year couldn’t fail to see that the harvest is well and truly underway. For me it’s a glorious time, the farmers’ hard work and toil in the fields has paid off and we’re reaping the rewards with golden fields of wheat and barley. The home farmer will also enjoy abundant crops at this time of year and many people grow all kinds of wonderful produce. My garden has given me aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes which have, of course, inspired me to bake this delicious thick-crust harvest pizza. You can make the aubergine bake well ahead of time and freeze it in portions to capture the taste of the harvest all year round!

METHOD
Start with the aubergine bake by gently sautéing the onions and garlic in a little olive oil and butter. Add an abundance of fresh herbs and the all spice and let the whole thing gently turn golden for about 15 minutes. Then add the aubergine and courgettes, stir it around, turn up the heat and let the pieces brown a little as they begin to soften.

After about 10 minutes add the tomato, balsamic and sugar, stir and reduce the heat to the very lowest and let it slowly bubble away for at least an hour if not longer. Place a lid on it and let it cool.

Make the dough by adding the oil, yeast, salt and sugar to the water and leaving for 5 minutes whilst you sieve the flour into a large bowl.

Add the water and bring the flour together with your hands, then knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft and silky. Place a damp tea towel over the bowl and set aside whilst the dough doubles in size.

If you’re ready to build your pizza, knock back the dough, split in two and spread out the dough into a large pan or oven-proof dish. I’ve used a classic Swiss roll pan but any flat dish with shallow sides will work. Cover in clingflim and set aside whilst you pre-heat your oven to 200C.

Once the oven is hot pop the dough in for about 6 minutes. This lets the dough rise a little and cook slightly so you have a more bready consistency. After 6 minutes take it out of the oven, slather on the aubergine bake, cover in cheese and bake for about 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

Don’t forget to follow Dom on his blog www.belleaukitchen.com

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