MMMMmmmmmm, eggplant parmesan! I love eggplant and I love it fried even more! But with the weekend behind me and a figure I try to maintain, I felt the need to “health-ify” this dish. First things first, pizza, to me, is healthy. Dough= carbohydrate (a source of energy), sauce = vegetable (enough said), cheese = calcium and protein (good for you and good for you), therefore no changes are needed here. Now for the tweak……eggplant parmesan: normally fried, greasy, and quite heavy. I decided to bread it like usual because I have tried other options- egg white, whole wheat breadcrumbs, etc. and honestly they just don’t thrill me! So with that being said, I oiled my baking sheets and cranked up my oven so that the eggplant slices could almost fry on the oiled surface and get that oiled crispiness. After flipping during the baking process, I achieved my goal! The slices were delicious; I could have just eaten them off the baking sheet and called it a night! But why would I do that when the other option was to take the breaded eggplant, top it with 3 cheeses, then serve it as a pizza? No need to respond, you get my point!
The result was an amazing pizza that Matt and I pretty much ate in silence because each bite was better than the previous! We did manage a few words but I’m not sure if they count because they were only in response to the pizza. Anyway, it was a great weeknight meal that I will be making again very soon! I hope you can do the same! Enjoy….
Eggplant Parm Pizza
OBJ: TCW be able to recreate a normally calorie-busting pizza into a healthy and nutritious one!
1 pizza dough, thawed and left out to rise (about 4-6 hours)
1 C marinara, your own or jarred
½ C shredded mozzarella
¼ C fresh mozzarella (or about 4 slices)
1 medium sized eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 C Italian style breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
S & P: salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven, with pizza stone on bottom shelf, to 425 degrees
2. Using a pastry brush, oil 2 baking sheets with olive oil
2. Dip each eggplant slice into egg, drain excess, then coat both sides with breadcrumbs, shake off excess, place on oiled sheet. Repeat with remaining slices
3. Using pastry brush again, gently brush the top of each breaded slice with oil, sprinkle with S & P
3. Bake eggplant for 20 minutes, flip, and then continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes. Bottoms and edges should be lightly browned
4. Remove from oven, place slices on a cooling rack, and let cool until ready to use (can be refrigerated for at least 2 days)
5. Roll out dough to desired pizza size, I usually stretch/roll/knead it to pretty much cover my pizza stone but you do what you like (smaller pizza=thicker crust, vice versa)
6. Take stone out of oven, carefully place dough on top
7. Working quickly, spread sauce on top of pizza, leaving at least ½ - 1inch plain for crust, then sprinkle about ¼ C of shredded mozzarella on sauce, then top with eggplant slices (enough to cover sauce but with a few gaps), then sprinkle remaining shredded mozzarella on top of eggplant slices, and finally top with fresh mozz, sprinkle with grated cheese, S & P, a pinch hot pepper flakes (optional) and a few dollops of sauce
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are browned and cheese is bubbling
9. Remove entire stone and pizza from oven, place on cutting board, bring to table, slice & serve!