April 24, 2010
Eggplant Mini Pizzas
People have strong feelings about eggplant, I've noticed. You either hate it or love it. I happen to love it in all forms, but I'm part Italian, so I'm probably biased. Eggplant is, however, a great vegetable to eat if you're on a budget. It has a strong, distinctive and meaty flavor, and adds a lot of bulk to different dishes, especially pasta. Today for lunch I made eggplant mini-pizzas, which are basically slices of eggplant topped with tomato sauce and cheese. They are significantly lower in calories and healthier than regular pizza (no pizza dough!), they taste great, and they're pretty damn cheap.
I think I paid $1.50 for the eggplant, which I used half of in this recipe. I estimate the total cost of this recipe to be about $2-$3.50; I am, however, a poet, so don't hold me to those numbers! A whole medium eggplant has about 132 calories, so these mini-pizzas are really healthy, too.
Eggplant Mini Pizzas
total time: 20 minutes
total hands on time: 6 minutes
What you need:
5-6 tbsps of tomato sauce
spices or other vegetables (optional)
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425.
2. Horizontally slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Here, I have 5 slices.
3. Brush each slice on both sides with olive oil.
4. Roast 6-8 minutes on each side, until slightly browned.
5. Top each slice with tomato sauce and cheese. You can also add spices; I added an Italian herb mix and red pepper flakes.
6. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I read a recipe somewhere where the cook added tomato slices on top of the eggplant, which I think would be extra delicious. Depending on the size of the eggplant you get, you may also have room to actually add other pizza toppings, maybe fresh basil, bacon bits or pepperoni, whatever strikes your fancy. This would also be good if you used some fancier cheese, like goat or fresh parmesan. It just occurred to me that this recipe would work as a good little appetizer at a party, too; of course, you'd need quite a few more eggplants.