Monday, February 14, 2011

Eggplant Pizza: The Perfect Storm

Four things: I just got a new exciting food paring book, being stuck indoors due to the weather had made me ancy for something different, I had the craving for some yummy pizza, and I want to make a super healthy version that I don't feel guilty for eating.  This made for the perfect storm resulting in what I call Eggplant Pizza. 

I have this friend who describes her weakness as pizza.  Well, who doesn't love pizza?  I'm not talking about the typical chain pizza places with the boring menus, but I LOVE the two extremes.  The hole in the wall mom-and-pop shop, and the nice gourmet pizza place with unique menu choices.  I wholeheartedly believe that pizza does not have to be a weakness.  By making your own dough and controlling what you put on as toppings you can create a delicious pizza without busting your calorie allowance for the day.  I decided to take this a step further, and cut the calories per slice in half, by taking out the typical crust, and replacing it with a slice of eggplant.  You can be as creative as you want with the toppings, but this is where the new book came in handy.  The book I just recently purchased pairs flavors together and helps you decide what to include in your recipe to enhance the flavors.  It is soo much fun and I plan on using it for tons of new recipes!

Raymond and I have different tastes sometimes, and when it came to the toppings I wanted, he decided he would rather take a different approach.  I thought mine turned out absolutely incredible, while his was...well, mine included goat cheese, need I say more?  :-)  I will share my combination below, but first, in case you're not a fan of my combination he liked his pizza, and the toppings we used for his include: pizza sauce, red onions, ricotta cheese, chicken sausage, mozzarella cheese, and proscuitto.


1 Eggplant
Sea Salt
Tahini (optional, but highly recommend)
Red Onion
Goat Cheese
Green Olives
Mozzarella Cheese


Slice eggplant lengthwise into approximately four 1" slices.

Coat both sides of eggplant slice with sea salt, place eggplant on a wire rack over the sink, and let soak for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Rinse eggplant slices to remove the leftover salt.  Coat each side of eggplant slice with Tahini.

Cover the eggplant in breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove eggplant from oven, flip, and top with pizza sauce and favorite toppings.  I just have to say, I couldn't get enough of my combination.  I coated the eggplant in the pizza sauce, sprinkled some red onions on top of that, then added goat cheese and lamb, green olives, and topped it all off with a little bit of mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 - 13 minutes

Each slice contained a different topping combination, however the one on
the bottom right was my absolute favorite and the one that I wrote out above.
Yummm, perfect pairing for a glass of wine. 

Disclaimer: Unfortunately these don't get thin crust crispy, but are more like a deep dish style pizza you eat with a fork and knife.  It has a crisp to it, but not a crunch.  If you wanted a crispier crust you could try sprinkling cornmeal on the cooking sheet before placing the eggplant slices. 

Amanda's Tips:
If you let eggplants 'soak' in salt for a minimum of 30 minutes, it will take the bitterness out of the eggplant.  Also, adding Tahini to the eggplant to increase the meatiness of the eggplant.

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