Mini Eggplant Pizzas

October 7th, 2014 No Comments

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For the last month or two colorful eggplants have been brightening the palette of our local Farmer’s Market.  This picture of dazzling garden abundance is from my friend and photographer David Cavagnaro of the Pepperfield Project.  Color and shapes!  Many of these varieties can be used but the size and sweet flavor of the skinny Asian eggplants make them perfect for these little pizza bites.

 

Part of the nightshade family, eggplant are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B’s and numerous phytonutrients.  Read more about their history, nutrition and cooking tips at World’s Healthiest Foods.

 

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Peel or not to peel?

I generally leave peels on when making these pizzas or casserole-type dishes, and peel them for babaganoush or other pureed dips.  There are loads of nutrients in the peels but the larger varieties of eggplant can produce peels that are a little bitter.

 

Their high water content can make eggplants somewhat mushy when cooked.  You can ‘sweat’ them before cooking: sprinkle slices with salt and let sit for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture, then wipe away the released water with a towel.

 

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Lightly dip the eggplant pieces in the flour (rice or tapioca), dip in the egg, then dredge in the toasted gf bread crumbs or quinoa flakes (or wheat germ if you’re a wheat-eater).  Fry the coated slices in olive oil, or roast them in the oven on an oiled sheet pan until browned.

 

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I think the tomato paste version has a more potent flavor for these, but since I have Romas in the garden I tried a few with fresh tomato slices.

 

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These are highly snackable so make extras to eat while waiting for guests to arrive.

 

 

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 

Slice in 1/4″ – 3/8″ pieces:

Japanese or Chinese Eggplant (or use larger eggplant for entree-sized servings)

Lay the pieces on a flat surface and lightly salt.  Let them sit for 20 minutes then pat dry.

 

Set up three bowls:

Rice Flour or Tapioca Flour

Egg, whipped

GF Bread Crumbs or Quinoa Flakes (or Wheat Germ)

Heat a saute pan or cast iron pan to Medium temperature and add:

Olive Oil

Dip the eggplant pieces first in the flour, then the whipped egg, then the bread crumbs. 

Transfer the dredged eggplant pieces to the hot pan.  Fry both sides for a few minutes or until light brown.

Remove from pan (you may need to do batches) onto a cookie sheet or baking sheet.

 

Mix together:

Tomato Paste

Fresh Garlic, minced

Fresh or dried Thyme, Basil or Rosemary

Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

Add to each piece of fried eggplant:

Dollop of Tomato Paste Mix (or a piece of Fresh Tomato—it’s a lighter flavor, not as rich)

Fresh Mozzarella slices

Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is lightly melted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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