Ciao! We're thrilled to share a delicious variation of a traditional meal - Eggplant Pizza! We guarantee that this mouthwatering delight will be hard to resist!
About the Ingredients
Eggplants: The star of the show! They are sliced into rounds to serve as the foundation for our pizza, imparting a unique, mildly sweet taste and a satisfying texture.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the eggplant slices enhances their flavor and helps with roasting, creating a delicious caramelized exterior.
Trapani Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper: These essential seasonings bring out the natural flavors of the eggplant and complement the other ingredients.
Cherry Tomato Sauce: A rich tomato sauce adds a burst of tanginess and moisture to our eggplant pizza.
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese: This classic pizza cheese is responsible for the ooey-gooey goodness we all adore. When melted over the eggplant slices, it creates a luscious layer of deliciousness.
Cherry Tomatoes: Fresh, juicy cherry tomatoes, halved and scattered across the pizza, impart a burst of color and a refreshing, sweet-tart taste that beautifully contrasts with the savory elements.
Torn fresh Basil Leaves: Fragrant and aromatic basil leaves add a touch of freshness, elevating its overall taste profile.
Now that you know the magic behind this wholesome and flavorful Eggplant Pizza, prepare to impress your family and friends with this delightful, healthier twist on pizza that will keep them coming back for more!
Papa Vince's Eggplant Pizza Recipe
Serves: 6 servings - Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 large or 2 medium-sized eggplants
- ⅓ cup Papa Vince extra virgin olive oil
- Trapani Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1¼ cups Papa Vince's Cherry Tomato Sauce
- ½ cup shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup torn hydroponic basil leaves from LocAL Lettuce Heads.Farm
REMEMBER: The Fresher, the Better!
- Opt for firm, glossy eggplants with vibrant purple skin.
- Using high-quality extra virgin olive oil to coat the eggplant slices before roasting enhances their taste and promotes even browning.
- Read the labels and choose a tomato sauce with natural ingredients and no added sugars.
- Opt for whole-milk mozzarella for the creamiest result.
- Select ripe, plump cherry tomatoes for juicy sweetness in every bite.
- Choose bright green, unblemished basil leaves for the best flavor.
How to Make
(1) Let's Get the Eggplants Ready
First, wash the eggplants with water and dry them gently. Next, remove the stem and cut the eggplants into thin, round slices about as thick as a quarter coin. These slices will be the base of our yummy pizza!
We need to remove some water to make the eggplant slices just right. Sprinkle a little salt on the pieces and let them sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, use paper towels to pat the slices to remove the extra moisture gently.
Once the eggplant slices are ready for roasting, drain any remaining water. Now, it's time to make them taste super delicious! Drizzle olive oil over the eggplant slices and sprinkle a pinch of black pepper and salt. This will give them extra flavor!
Now, pop them into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until they become perfect for our pizza. Yum!
(2) Let's Put Together the Eggplant Pizzas!
First, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes cleaning up later easy and helps the eggplant not stick to the sheet.
Now, take the eggplant slices that we prepared earlier and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. They will be our pizza crust!
Next, grab a spoonful of tomato sauce and spread it evenly on each eggplant slice, but leave a little space around the edges. It's like making a saucy frame for our pizza!
Time to add the cheese! Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the tomato sauce on each eggplant slice. This is the part that makes the pizza extra gooey and yummy!
Lastly, add some cherry tomatoes to make our pizza colorful and fresh. Cut them in half and place them on top of the cheese. Spread them evenly so that every bite has a burst of tomato goodness.
Now, our eggplant pizzas are ready to go into the oven! Bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese melts and becomes all gooey and delicious. Get ready to enjoy your homemade eggplant pizzas!
(3) Time to Bake!
Now that we've made our delicious pizzas, it's time to bake them in the oven.
First, carefully place the baking sheet with the eggplant slices into the oven. The oven should already be heated to 400°F (200°C) from before.
We'll bake the pizzas for about 15 to 20 minutes. But remember, the exact time might differ depending on how thick the eggplant slices are and how your oven works.
While baking, keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't burn. We want the cheese to be melty and bubbly and the edges of the eggplant to turn a nice golden brown color. That's when we know they're ready!
4 TIPS FOR ACHIEVING PERFECT CRISPY EGGPLANT PIZZAS
- Evenly-Sized Eggplant Slices: To ensure our eggplant pizzas turn out perfect, try to cut the eggplants into slices that are all the same size. This way, they'll cook evenly, and our pizzas will have a consistent and tasty texture.
- Preheat the Baking Sheet: If you want an extra crispy crust, here's a cool trick! Before we put the eggplant slices on the baking sheet, we can warm it up in the oven for a bit. This will help make the bottom of our pizzas nice and crispy.
- Give 'Em Space: It's important not to crowd the eggplant slices on the baking sheet. Leave some space between them to have enough room to roast evenly and become a beautiful golden brown color.
- Extra Crispy Top: Want an even crispier top? No problem! After our pizzas finish baking, we can switch the oven to broil mode for a minute or two. But remember, keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.
(4) Time to serve! - Recommendations
Sprinkle Fresh Torn Basil Leaves: Let's make our pizzas look and taste even better! Sprinkle some torn basil leaves on top of the pizzas. Basil is a fragrant herb that smells so good, and its bright green color will make our pizzas look fresh and delicious!
Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Added Richness: Here's a fancy touch! Before serving the pizzas, we can drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top. It will make the pizzas taste even yummier and give them a shiny, beautiful look.
Serve Hot and Fresh: It's time to enjoy our mouthwatering creation! Eggplant pizzas taste the best when hot and fresh out of the oven. The cheese will be all gooey and irresistible, just like your favorite pizza! So grab a slice, dig in, and savor every yummy bite!
Why Eggplants Are So Good for You!
- Low in Calories: Did you know that eggplants are naturally low in calories? That means they are a great choice if you want to watch your calorie intake and keep a healthy weight.
- Rich in Dietary Fiber: Eggplants are unique because they have lots of dietary fiber. Fiber is like a superhero for our stomachs! It aids digestion, keeps our gut healthy, and makes us feel full for a long time, so we don't overeat.
- Packed with Nutrients: Eggplants are like a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. They have vitamins like C, K, and B6 and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese. All these goodies keep us healthy and feeling good.
- Antioxidant Powerhouse: Antioxidants are shields protecting our body from free radicals. Eggplants have lots of antioxidants, so they help keep us healthy by fighting those harmful free radicals.
- Heart Health Friendly: Eggplants help take care of our hearts! The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in eggplants work together to keep our hearts strong and healthy by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Delicious Ways to Change Up Your Eggplant Pizza!
Let's take our taste buds to the Mediterranean! Add sliced black olives, roasted red peppers, and crumbled feta cheese to your regular ingredients. It'll give your pizza a unique Mediterranean flavor. And for that extra magic, sprinkle some dried oregano to make it taste even more authentic!
How about a fresh and herby twist? Instead of tomato sauce, spread basil pesto on your eggplant slices. Then, add sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and mozzarella for a refreshing taste with a hint of herbs. We recommend making your homemade pesto sauce; try Papa Vince's Sicilian Pesto Recipe.
Let's create a pizza inspired by the famous Caprese salad! Pair the sliced eggplant as the base with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. Drizzle some Papa Vince balsamic glaze to make it extra special. It'll be a taste explosion like you've never had before!
Are you ready for a mix of Greek goodness and Italian yumminess? Mix red onions, kalamata olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese on your eggplant pizza. The flavors will be out of this world! And to add that extra Greek touch, a pinch of dried dill will do the trick.
Delicious Options for Gluten-Free and Vegan Friends!
- Gluten-Free Crust: No worries if you or your friends can't have gluten! You can still enjoy Eggplant Pizza with a gluten-free crust. Just choose a gluten-free cheese blend and check that all other ingredients, like the seasonings, are certified gluten-free. This way, you'll have a safe and yummy gluten-free pizza!
- Vegan Cheese: Want to make your pizza wholly plant-based? Easy peasy! Instead of using regular mozzarella, try using vegan cheese made from plants. Many tasty options, like vegan mozzarella or cheese made from cashews. It's just as creamy and yummy as regular cheese, but it's all plant-powered!
- Nutritional Yeast: Here's a nifty trick for vegan pizzas! Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top of your pizza toppings. It adds a cheesy flavor, but it's vegan! Plus, it gives your pizza a boost of extra nutrients to keep you healthy and strong.
So, whether you need a gluten-free option or want to go all plant-based, these choices will ensure everyone can enjoy the goodness of Eggplant Pizza. Now you can cook up a storm and share these tasty pizzas with all your friends, no matter their dietary needs. Let's get cooking and have a blast trying out these fantastic variations!
About this Recipe...
Eggplants, tomato sauce, basil, and cheese are essential in Italian recipes, embodying the heart and soul of the country's cuisine.
Eggplants contribute a distinct, mild sweetness and tender texture to dishes, making them a versatile and beloved ingredient. Tomato sauce, made from ripe tomatoes, imparts a rich, tangy flavor that forms the foundation of numerous Italian dishes. At the same time, basil's fresh, aromatic taste adds an iconic touch, enhancing the overall flavor profile. Lastly, cheese, particularly mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, brings creamy richness and a satisfying melt, elevating Italian recipes to a level of comforting indulgence.
Combining all these classic ingredients is like a beautiful symphony of flavors representing the heart of Italy's cuisine. It's no wonder that people worldwide love Italian food for its simple yet delicious dishes. So, next time you have Italian food, you'll know the special magic that makes it so awesome!