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 it’s nowhere near traditional, I load it with spicy greens, creamy mozzarella, and salty prosciutto so that it’s more of a meal.
Grilled Piadina with Charred Eggplant and Spicy Greens Recipe
- 2 pounds baby japanese eggplant (about 8) cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves torn (about 12)
- 4 ounces spicy mixed greens
- 4 ounces buffalo mozzarella torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pint sweet 100 tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto optional
- olive oil for garnish
- 1 cup whole milk or water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 cups all-purpose or cake flour
- To Grill The Eggplant: 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.
- To Make The 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.
- To Form The Piadina: 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.
- 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.