In my latest batch of produce from the CSA I got a TON of cherry tomatoes and some gorgeous eggplants. I was going to do my usual go-to eggplant recipe (and probably a lot of other people’s too)- eggplant parmesan. Can’t go wrong with good ole eggplant parm, right? As I started gathering the ingredients I realized I didn’t have any breadcrumbs (I later found out the BF had been using them to put in our burgers- his secret is out!). So I had two choices: go to the store or come up with another way to use the ingredients. Feeling lazy, I chose the latter. I used ingredients I had on hand, including some fresh herbs from the garden. These little guys were a big hit!
I’ve found the key to good eggplant recipes is in how you prep the eggplant. I’m a big texture person and if eggplant is even the slightest bit mushy I just can’t bring myself to eat it. Salting the eggplant before cooking helps draw out the extra water, so the baked eggplant will turn out less watery and mushy as well as less bitter. Bonus: the eggplant will also absorb less oil when the extra water is removed. I’ve included this key step in my instructions. I promise ya’ll it’s worth the little bit of extra effort and time.
2 eggplants, sliced ~1 inch thick
24 oz jar pizza sauce (can use regular marina sauce as well)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3-4 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon salt
1 handful fresh basil
1 handful fresh oregano
For the eggplant prep:
-slice off the stem end of eggplants
-cut eggplant into 1 inch slices
-place the eggplant in a colander-sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt
-set colander over a plate and allow to drain for 20-30 minutes
-rinse eggplant under cool water
-dry eggplant completely
For the pizzas:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray 2 baking sheets lightly with olive oil spray. Arrange the sliced eggplants on each (about 6 slices per pan). Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove eggplant from oven and turn broiler on.
- Spread one tablespoon of pizza sauce over each eggplant round.
- Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over each eggplant round.
- Top with basil, oregano and sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Broil each pan for 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly!
- Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve with additional basil and oregano leaves as garnish.