Barbecued Eggplant Pizzas
Friday often calls for pizza. Unfortunately, pizza is the devil…it is so bad for you. White flour, processed everything…Pizza Hut pizza is my vice for sure. It tastes like it’s deep-fried, the toppings are questionable, and I honestly wonder what goes into their cheese to make it so ridiculously stringy…perhaps it’s enhanced with rubber. Regardless, of all your drinking with buddies, let’s get delivery, what can come fastest options, pizza is the best/worst choice.
Enter Eggplant Pizzas…the two or three bite wonders that taste like the real deal because they are one crust away from the pizza pie you are used to. They are delicious, satisfying, and their snacky size makes them feel even more like the perfect party snack. And good news…if you live in a condo/apartment and can’t have a barbecue, they taste just as good in the oven or in a skillet.
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese (pizza Mozzarella, cheddar/mozza mix, old cheddar, whatever your preference)
Your favourite organic pizza sauce (My weakness is Pizza Quick, but is not so good for you. Really thinly sliced tomatoes sprinkled with oregano will work deliciously as well)
Your favourite toppings (In these photos I sauteed garlic, red onion, criminis, and spinach as my topping. Anything goes, just remember if it’s a heavy topping it needs to be made lighter by shredding or dicing or basically making it smaller)
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt and place on a cooling rack above a cookie sheet, or invert a small glass bowl inside a large glass bowl and stand slices upright around the small bowl. Let sit for 2-4 hours. WHY? Eggplant can taste very bitter…you may not like it because of this. However, a little salt draws the bitter moisture out of the plant, so salting and draining this liquid will minimize/eliminate the bitterness and create a beautiful taste.
Turn BBQ on med-high, lid closed, and let pre-heat for 10-15min. If using oven, turn on to 350 degrees F and let preheat. If using skillet, drizzle with olive oil and heat on med for 10min.
Pat eggplant dry with a towel, and brush olive oil on both sides…season with salt and pepper.
Place eggplant slices on heated grill on med-high for 10min with lid open and flip. Grill on other side for 10min. (In oven timing is the same. On skillet cook for each side for 5-7min.)
Meanwhile, if your chosen pizza toppings need cooking, cook them! If you like them raw/crunchy, don’t!
Once both sides of the eggplant have been cooked for 10min on each side, place a dollop of pizza sauce on each eggplant slice, top with cooked or uncooked toppings, and then top with cheese.Close the lid of the grill and cook for 5min or until cheese is melted. (In oven turn to broil, open the oven door, and broil until cheese is melted. On skillet, throw a lid on it and cook until cheese is melted).
Remove from hot surface and place on paper towel to drain any excess fat, Let cool until you won’t burn your tongue and serve as a snack on their own or with a salad for a meal.
Let me know how they turn out!