Meatless meals don't always go over well in this house, but these Eggplant Pizzas make the cut! The meatiness of the eggplant makes for a nice "crust," and when roasted, the eggplant itself can hardly be tasted. The toppings create a traditional pizza flavor and allow for the same creativity as a regular pizza. If you haven't tried eggplant yet, I am confident the recipe below will win you and your family over!
Purple hue of the produce rainbow
Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables is necessary to obtain all the nutrients we need. When we think of the deep blue/purple family, blueberries, blackberries, plums and cabbage may come to mind; eggplant may not be at the top of the grocery list.
Blue/purple hued produce contains a compound called anthocyanins that has been shown to protect against free radicals (click here for a refresher on free radicals) , offer neuroprotective and anti-cancer effects, and also provide heart healthy benefits.
Choose eggplants that are firm, smooth and shiny in color. Avoid ones with discoloration or scars, which usually indicates the flesh has been damaged and possibly decayed. Gently press the skin of the eggplant to test firmness. If the skin presses slightly and springs back, the vegetable is ripe and ready to go. If the skin remains indented, avoid purchasing.
Eggplant Pizza Pies
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup 100% whole grain seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Manitoba Milling Co. ground flaxseed
Your favorite Rao's Homemade flavor - I use Marinara for these
Additional vegetable toppings like mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc. (optional)
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup Romano Pecorino shredded cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, diced
Wash and rinse your eggplant. Slice into thin round pies, about 1 cm thick. Set slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let the eggplant pies sit for 30-40 minutes.
Pro tip: Depending on the age of your eggplant, salting the slices can cut down on bitterness. You'll notice as you let the salt sit, juices will leach out of the eggplant. Rinse your slices and pat dry after 30-40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly beat 3 eggs in medium bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and ground flaxseed in a separate medium bowl. Dip rinsed/dried eggplant pies in egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs/flax combination. Set breaded eggplant pie on lined baking sheet. Continue until all eggplant pies are coated and set on the sheet.
Bake eggplant pies for 5 - 7 minutes, or until crust begins to brown. Remove from oven and generously spoon Rao's sauce and any additional veggies on each pie.
Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and Romano/Pecorino. Top with fresh basil. Place back in oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.