Since I have more eggplants than I know what to do with, I’m determined to incorporate them into my cooking in every way possible. In fact, look for my new e-book, “365 days of Eggplant,” on a Kindle near you. Just kidding! Well, maybe only sort of kidding.
Anyway, I figured why not try it on pizza. As with most of the things I make, it’s vegetarian, and can be modified to be gluten free by using a gluten free pizza crust. For vegans, just eliminate the cheese and make sure your crust is vegan.
If you don’t have one already, purchase a Presto Cool Touch Electric Grill. You will absolutely love it. I can’t live without mine, and use it all the time. It makes grilling veggies and making pancakes so easy, and cooks over easy eggs like the best breakfast place you’ve ever eaten at.
Back to this scrumptious pizza! I only used the grilled tomatoes on half, because I wanted to see how it tasted. It was good, but overpowered the eggplant a little. This is key, too — the thinner the slices of eggplant the milder the taste.
So, for example this pizza had a very, very mild eggplant taste, because I made the slices super thin. It’s a good way to get kids to eat their veggies. But, if you’re looking for a strong eggplant flavor, or to make it taste more like an eggplant parm pizza, then make the slices thicker.
1/2 – 1 cup hot tomato sauce
1 pizza crust
(for gluten free I use Udis & for regular I use Mama Mary’s)
1 small eggplant
1 tomato (use 2 if you are using it on all the whole pizza and not just half)
3 large cloves of garlic
8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees and preheat your oven to the recommended temperature on your crust package.
Peel the skin off the eggplant. Using a large knife, slice the eggplant into thin, round slices. Set aside on a dish and sprinkle with just a little salt. Do the same with the tomatoes.
Peel the garlic and thinly slice the cloves.
Brush the eggplant, tomatoes and garlic with a little bit of olive oil.
Once your grill is heated to temperature, drizzle a little bit of olive oil on it and then wipe clean with a paper towel.
Place the eggplant and tomato slices on the grill with the olive oil-coated side down. Brush the tops with a little more olive oil. Once the eggplant just starts to become translucent, flip the slice over.
The tomato will cook a lot faster, so flip them after a minute and then remove from heat once they are browned. You don’t want to get them too mushy.
Continue to flip the eggplant until they are almost completely cooked and translucent. They should have grill marks on them, but make sure they’re not burnt. It’s better for them to be a little undercooked, because you’ll be cooking them for about 10 minutes in the oven, than burned.
Next comes the garlic. Put the slices on the grill and cook until browned, flipping at least once.
Now it’s time to put together the pizza! If you’re using the Mama Mary’s put a think coat of olive oil on it. If you’re using Udi’s go straight to the next step and skip the olive oil.
Using as much or as little sauce as you like, coat the crust with the sauce. (I prefer just a little)
Then top it with the mozzarella, leaving just a little to use at the end.
Arrange the garlic on the pizza so that when you slice it, every piece will get a taste of garlic.
Next, arrange the eggplant slice on the pizza.
Top half with pizza, or the whole pizza, whichever you prefer, with the tomato. (I did half) Then, sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella over the pizza.
Bake in the oven according to the pizza crust package, or until the cheese is bubbling. (Usually about 10 minutes)
I like to serve the pizza with a hardy red wine like a Chianti or Cabernet, or a nice beer.