This pizza makes the most of lusciously tender eggplant during its divine season from late summer through fall. The key to using eggplant on pizza is to cook it ahead of time, so it's guaranteed to be tender and browned and at its best when you bite into a slice of the pizza pie. Here it's put together with salty prosciutto and Parmesan, as well as garlic-infused olive oil
- Trim the eggplant and cut it into 1/2-iinch slices. Dissolve the salt in 1 cup of warm water. Once the salt is dissolved, stir in 3 to 4 cups cool water. Submerge the eggplant slices in the salt water, using a plate to weigh down the eggplant and keep them submerged for at least 3 and up to 60 minutes. (Why bother with this? It will help the eggplant keep its shape when it's cooked.)
- While the eggplant soaks, peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut those slices into slivers. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic and cook until the edges on the slivers turn golden. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chile flakes if you like things spicy. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat an oven to 400F. Drain the eggplant and pat the slices thoroughly dry. Lay them on a baking sheet, spray or brush with olive oil, turn the slices over and oil the second side. Bake until browned on the bottom, turn the slices and over cook until browned on the second side and tender all the way through, about 15 minutes total.
- Turn the oven up to 500F, arranging a cooking rack on the bottom rung, and adding a pizza stone, if you have one.
- When the oven's hot, stretch the dough, working with 1/2 at a time, as thin as you like, brush on the garlic and olive oil. Lay half the prosciutto on the dough, top with half of the eggplant slices, and sprinkle on half of the Parmesan cheese. Brush on some more oil and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
* To make homemade pizza dough, combine 2 teaspoons dry active yeast, 1 1/2 cups warm water, 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt in a standing mixer until all that becomes a dough. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, 60 to 90 minutes. Punch the dough down and let it rise again, about 30 minutes. Divide into 2 parts, each one will make a 12-inch thin-crust pizza.