Let's discuss this Grilled Piadina with Balsamic Eggplant and Spicy Greens. Because all things flat and bread are my jam yet I plain forgot about its existence until my last trip to Italy. A piadina is a flatbread that you see all over the Emilia-Romagna region, where it's from. It exists in all forms from at its worst a pallid-looking tortilla to at its best a flaky, salty flatbread. I like tossing them on the grill in the summer so it gets a bit of char and smoky flavor but still cooks up like a hearty pizza. Though I've seen them served folded in half and others rolled up, I prefer them open face because I usually require a fork and knife to get through the loads of ingredients I've thrown on top. Though its nowhere near traditional, I load it with spicy greens, creamy mozzarella, and salty prosciutto so that its more of a meal.
(about 8) cut into 1/2-inch slices
divided, plus more for garnish
thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
torn (about 12)
torn into bite-sized pieces
halved (about 2 cups)
For the filling: Toss eggplant slices with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat and cook eggplant, in batches, until golden and tender, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer eggplant to a bowl, add vinegar, garlic, and red onion and stir to combine. Season generously to taste, then transfer to a container and refrigerate at least 1 hour or for up to 24 hours. Meanwhile make the piadina dough.
For piadina dough: Heat milk, olive oil, and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until honey is dissolved and liquid is simmering; set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add wet ingredients and pulse until a smooth dough forms about 30 seconds - 1 minute. Dough should come together easily and not be too dry; if it is, add extra water. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rest 30 mins before proceeding.
Divide dough into four, form into balls, roll each on a lightly floured surface to about 8 -inch diameter, or till dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Place on parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent from sticking. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent drying out.
Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush piadine with olive oil and grill until golden 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Piadina can be made up to 1 day ahead of time.
To assemble: When ready to use the eggplant, bring to room temperature and stir in mint (reserving marinade) before using.
Top each piadina with a handful of greens, a quarter of the eggplant mixture, the cheese, tomatoes, and prosciutto, if using. Top with a spoonful of reserved marinade, drizzle over oilive oil, and serve. If not using prosciutto season with sea salt and fresh cracker pepper.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp