Not long ago I had the chance to try out these tasty Zucchini Mini Pizzas. I really liked them; the husband thought they were OK.
When I made the zucchini pizzas. I stuck pretty close to their original recipe and added pepperoni, which was good, but not something I usually like to load up on with my pizza (too many nitrates and other yucky stuff!).
I wanted to figure out a way to do it with some of my favorite vegetarian pizza toppings without making it seem too vegetable like, if that makes sense.
When I was shopping to make them again, all the zucchinis in the store were on the small side, which is not helpful for making these pizzas. Then I saw the eggplants and thought, “Now that would be amazing!”
So we gave it a try, and it was a total hit with both of us – and extremely filling; we couldn’t finish it all (and we’re usually pretty good at finishing any kind of pizza!). Next time I make them, I plan to freeze a few to see if they turn out well being re-heated – it would make an awesome lunch if they did. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe…
Grain Free Pizza with an Eggplant ‘Crust’
This will easily feed 2 adults; adjust according to the number of people you have
- 1 medium/large eggplant, cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick
- 2-4 cloves minced garlic
- 4 T olive oil
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1 t dried basil
- 1 t dried marjoram
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t chile pepper flakes
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pizza sauce
- 1 small can sliced black olives
- 1 can artichoke hearts, well drained and sliced
- crumbled herbed goat cheese (optional)
(I don’t normally like using canned foods, but I can’t figure out how to get those 2 things not in cans!)
To pre-heat your broiler, turn it on high now.
Lay the slices of eggplant on a cookie sheet and sprinkle salt (fairly heavily) over both sides. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
When the timer goes off, you should see drops of liquid all over the eggplant – this is called ‘sweating’ and it draws out the bitterness of the eggplant in preparation for cooking. I could never get eggplant to work properly for me before I figured out that little trick!
Now rinse the slices in cold water very well; dry with a clean flour sack towel or paper towel and lay them out on the grilling bars of a roasting pan (you could use a cookie sheet if you don’t have a roasting pan. You could also do all this in the grill if you want to).
Mix the olive oil, spices and garlic into a small bowl; brush the eggplant with this mix. My measurements above are very approximate – just do yours to taste.
Broil the eggplant for 10 minutes.
Now bring it out and add your toppings. This is one place where the husband and I diverge a bit - he loves pizza sauce; I don’t. So for my pizzas, the olive oil & spice mixture is a sufficient sauce.
If you do add sauce, just add a thin layer to each slice of eggplant as you would for any pizza. Because I forgot to put sauce on my husband’s pizza this time around (only thinking of myself!) I ended up adding his over the top of his toppings. He didn’t mind.
For topping the pizzas:
After you add the sauce or decide to go with just the olive oil mixture, spread a layer of mozzarella over each slice. Then add artichoke hearts and olives. Finally, top with a small amount of crumbled herbed goat cheese.
Put back in the oven and broil another 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
You can certainly feel free to experiment with any different pizza toppings you’d like; I feel like this one lends itself particularly to vegetarian toppings, but try what you will. At some point I plan to try spinach, mushrooms, and roasted garlic cloves – some of our other top choices for veggie toppings.
Another combo idea I just thought of would be to use hummus instead of sauce along with crumbled feta (instead of mozzarella), kalamata olives and tomatoes. Yummy!
There are a few other grain free pizza options, but this one is definitely going to be added to our repertoire as a favorite!
Are there any other fellow pizza addicts out there? What are your favorite toppings?