Not pizza with eggplant topping. Oh no.
Pizzas built on little round of roasted eggplant.
These are crazy good. They cook in a flash, are completely customizable, and hey Gluten Free People – these are perfect for you!
You’ll never believe it, but this actually started as a Julia Child recipe. After she became famous for her French cookbooks, she put out a fantastic cookbook of mostly American recipes.
I can’t believe with all the (much deserved) Julia mania of the past few years, this lovely cookbook is out of print. Fortunately you can still find good used copies. Mine is came from Jim’s mother’s cookbook collection and I think someone’s dog (ahem) chewed the spine. Cats would never do such a despicable thing to a Julia cookbook.
And speaking of Jim, he LOVED this recipe! He was not an eggplant eater prior to meeting me and is still sometimes a little skeptical unless Italian sausage is also involved but he truly loved these.
Here’s what you need:
Eggplant, Marinara Sauce, Olive Oil, Fresh Basil, Dried Basil, Oregano (or Italian Seasoning Blend), Mozzarella, Parmesan, Salt & Pepper. Also any toppings you would like such as Pepperoni, Black Olives, Green Peppers, etc.
Choose a nice firm medium sized eggplant with good looking shiny, dark purple skin. Pick out one that has a good shape for making individual sized, round pizzas.
Slice the stem and root ends off the eggplant then cut it into ¾ inch slices. Uniformity of thickness is more important than the actual measurement. Try to cut them all the same so they cook at the same rate.
Eggplant can be sort of like a sponge which is good in terms of pairing it with other flavors but bad when it comes to texture. To fix this problem, we salt the eggplant to draw out some of the moisture.
Spread the rounds of eggplant on a few sheets of paper towels and sprinkle both sides lightly with salt. Let the eggplant sit for 20 minutes for the moisture to bead up to the surface.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wipe the salt and moisture off of both sides of the eggplant with a dry paper towel. Place the eggplant on a baking tray that has been sprayed or brushed with olive oil.
Spray or brush the top of each piece of eggplant with a little olive oil and sprinkle a little Italian seasoning blend or a combination of dried basil, dried oregano, pepper, and a few red pepper flakes, on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until soft but not falling apart or mushy.
I like to give them a gentle squeeze. If the edges give just a bit, the eggplant is done roasting.
Top each pizza with a spoonful of your favorite marinara sauce. I like Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce because it is thicker than the usual jars of marinara.
Of course, feel free to use homemade sauce if you have it!
If you are a meat eater, top each pizza with a few slices of pepperoni. I’m using turkey pepperoni because it is just as tasty and WAY less fat and oily.
You could also use all veggie toppings with a few onions, peppers, and olives. Or just go with plain sauce and cheese.
Top each pizza with grated mozzarella cheese. I used about 1½ cups total for my pizzas.
If I have it, I also like to put just a little parmesan or romano on top of the mozzarella for extra flavor.
Turn on the broiler and place the tray under the broiler but in the MIDDLE of the oven. If you get it right up under the broiler flame, the cheese will burn. Don’t turn away from these, they only take a minute or two to cook and become golden and melty.
Top with some strips of fresh basil and a few black olives and you have Eggplant Pizzas!
This is such a cool recipe, I was actually jumping up and down when it came out of the oven. Ridiculous, I know…but wait until you try these. Then you’ll understand – an eggplant happy dance is in order!
I served these with a nice green salad and a good glass (or two) of red wine and we were very happy.
This is sort of quickie eggplant parmigiana meets pizza. Does this take the place of regular pizza? No. But is is incredibly good and fun? YES!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Julia Child