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Eggplant pizza. Hello delicious. Seriously…if you are a fan of eggplant and pizza – I insist you try this. It was delicious and easy – and here’s the best part: when N ate it he said this is something that  is “signature good”. I love getting his stamp of approval on stuff I make! He’s my taste tester and critic – although, he’s too nice sometimes. But this one…it’s a keeper. And something I want to make again this week. I adapted the recipe from this one from Gourmet. In their recipe they make their own crust, and while I’m sure that’s really good – I never remember to make the dough with enough time to rest. So I like using pre-made crusts. Choose whatever you like best.

The best part of the pizza was the garlic/red pepper flake oil – amazing. Spicy, garlicky, cheesy, eggplanty (ok, that’s not a word, but you try to think of  word to describe eggplant other than a “meaty in the vegetable sense”!)

Here’s what you’ll need: 10 baby eggplants (or 1 medium/large eggplant), mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, olive oil, tomato sauce, pizza crust, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Note that the picture has jalapeno chicken sausages….I decided to omit them from the pizza once I saw home jam-packed it was with just the eggplant. I actually sliced them up and seared them and served them on the side for N. I don’t think the pizza needs any protein on it and is perfect just the way it is….so pretend the sausage isn’t in the picture please!

And here’s what you need to do: slice the baby eggplant into ¼” thick slices. If you are using a whole eggplant, you can chop it into squares. It won’t look quite as cute – but it will taste just as delicious. And let’s be honest…that’s all that matters.

Place eggplant slices onto a foil lined baking sheet (spray with cooking spray first to deter the eggplant from sticking) and drizzle over 2 T. of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 t. salt and ½ t. pepper. Place into preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and fully cooked.

While the eggplant is cooking, shred the cheeses. I should note, I really hate shredding cheese. But it’s cheaper to buy the cheese in a chunk, so I suffered through it. ha.

Now take the garlic cloves and mince and add to the EVOO, and add in 1 t. red pepper flakes.

Cook for 30 – 50 seconds or until the garlic begins to cook but not burn. You should smell the garlic right away, it’s pretty fabulous. Oh, feel free to add more or less red pepper flakes depending on how much you enjoy heat. It’s up to you.

Ok, eggplant is cooked, cheese is shredded, now there’s one last thing to do. Assemble!

Take the crust…layer on the tomato sauce, sprinkle over salt and pepper if you want (I want) and then the cheese, then the baby eggplant slices, then drizzle over the garlic and red pepper flakes olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melty and crust is crispy…slice and serve and enjoy. This was seriously so good. Enjoy!

Eggplant pizza
Serves 4 – or 2 if you eat like I do.
Click here for recipe.

1 pre-made pizza crust (or follow instructions from Gourment link to make your own crust
10 baby eggplant or 1 medium/large eggplant
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. tomato sauce
4 T. extra virgin olive oil – divided (plus more for drizzling if you like)
5 garlic cloves (or 2 T. minced garlic)
1 t. red chili flakes (adjust per your heat preference)
salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Slice baby eggplants into 1/4″ slices, or chop larger eggplant into 1/2″ cubes. Coat with 1 T. olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 t. salt and pepper.
  2. Cook eggplant until fork tender and slightly brown – about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, shred the cheeses and combine in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Finely mince the 5 garlic cloves. In a small saucepan, heat up the 3 T. of EVOO (medium heat) and add in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Allow to cook no more than 1 minute – you do not want to burn the garlic – just release it’s flavors!
  5. Prepare the crust – take out of the package and ladle 1/2 cup of prepared tomato sauce over the crust, evenly distributing.
  6. Sprinkle over the mozzarella and parmesan cheese mixture.
  7. Once eggplant is cooked, evenly distribute the cooked eggplant on top of the cheese.
  8. Finally, sprinkle over (using a spoon) the olive oil with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Use all of this….you’ll love it.
  9. Bake per instructions on your crust packaging – about 16 minutes, until crust in crunchy and the cheese is fully melted. Slice into 4 giant slices and serve…..Enjoy!
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