Roasted Eggplant Pizza (Khachapuri) or Georgian Cheese Bread
The first time I tried khachapuri, I was in London. I was walking along the Thames, gaping at historic buildings and reveling in the moment, when I spotted a narrow, spindly side street. Enchanted, I walked down in and was lured into a small shop by the savory smell of warm bread and spices wafting out. Their specialty was a word that I didn’t know how to pronounce: khachapuri. I nearly drooled when it was placed in front of me. I walked away knowing that I’d have to try out a recipe once I’d gotten home—a resolution I forgot almost immediately. So when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to try it! I tweaked it a little—adding chorizo pepperoni and swapping cheese for an eggplant parmesan dip—but it came out just as good (if not better!) than the dish that I remember once drooling over.
Try it out for yourself with the recipe below!
roasted eggplant pizza (khachapuri) recipe instructions
Sure, you’ve heard of eggs in a basket, but have you ever tried khachapuri? It’s basically a delicious eggplant parm dip in a basket. (Yes, it’s as good as it sounds).
For the khachapuri:
- 4 1/3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon instant active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 100°F
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 cup goat cheese
- Chorizo pepperoni (optional)
For the eggplant dip:
- 2 large eggplants
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 head garlic, top sliced off
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup packed, fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 4 slices mozzarella
For the eggplant dip:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prick eggplants all over and rub with olive oil. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake until eggplant is soft and skin is blistered, and garlic is caramelized, 40-45 minutes.
- While the eggplant is cooking, start to make the khachapuri.
For the khachapuri:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and stir until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the milk and water and mix the dough to combine. Mix until the dough is very smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the dough is puffed (it may not fully double in size).
- Divide the dough as desired: Cut into two even pieces for larger, more shareable khachapuri, or into four even pieces for smaller, individual khachapuri. Pat the dough into an oval shape with your hands.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, maintaining the oval shape, about 1/2-inch thick. Pick the dough up from the ends and transfer it to a greased baking sheet. Gently stretch the dough when you transfer it to help elongate the oval a bit.
- Once you’ve made the bread, you need to wait for the eggplant to cook.
- Once fully cooked, split open eggplants and scoop out flesh. Discard skin. Squeeze out garlic and discard skin as well. Add to food processor along with tomato sauce, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded mozzarella, and basil leaves. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to medium baking dish and top with sliced mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
- Raise oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
- Crumble goat cheese evenly over the dough, leaving about 1-inch around the edge on all sides. Layer the eggplant dip over the goat cheese. Top with mozzarella or chorizo pepperoni, if desired.
- Working your way around the bread, fold the excess dough up and over the filling to create a little wall and encase it. Gently pinch the ends of the oval to help seal. Cover the breads with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray, and let the bread rise for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash.
- Transfer to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and lightly golden, 30-35 minutes for small, 45-50 minutes for large. Let the khachapuri cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.