Thursday, August 7, 2014

Carb-free, Guilt-Free, Taste-full Eggplant Pizzas

Ok, this recipe was so delicious that I didn't even stop stuffing my face long enough to take a photo! (Rich took an embarrassing photo of my stuffed face that shall remain unpublished.) Fortunately for me, that gave me the perfect reason to make it again today! I'm a little obsessed...

As I said yesterday, Rich and I are trying to eat healthier for our upcoming vacation(s). Well, I am eating healthier and since I usually make the dinners in this family.... Rich is getting into bikini shape too! Next up, couples waxing. Butt (yup, I did that) as I've mentioned, when I decide to eat healthy, all that I want to eat is pizza. Quite honestly, all that I EVER want to eat EVER is pizza. 

I am a big fan of the Pinterest famous cauliflower crust pizza. It's absolutely delicious, but it is SO much prep work. Anything that requires a food processor is a pain in my ass, which makes me a pain in Rich's... it's a rabbit hole of pain. So, I like to stick to kitchen appliances that require very little cleaning. And while the zucchini pizzas I have seen floating around the internet look really yummy, they are way to small. I mean, I need to mush two of them together to make them "bite size!"  So, no. Then, I remembered Julia Child's eggplant pizzas! 

Tranches d'aubergine a italienne. A' perfecto is what I call them. They are so easy and so delicious!I actually really dislike eggplant! (Please note that I did not say "hate" eggplant because I save that word for foods like salmon.) But, it's true. Eggplant is not something that I usually reach for in the kitchen. But, I think I have finally found an reason to show it a little love. 

Now, even though this recipe is from Julia Child (after all, the best are other people's), I made this my recipe my own... which you should do, too! I had some extra mushrooms in the fridge that I sautĂ©ed and put on top and I also added some kalamata olives and fresh basil. 

1 large globe eggplant
About 1 tablespoon salt for drawing out excess water from eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
Salt and Pepper
Hot red pepper flakes

(Again, you can add more toppings if you want to...)

Slice the eggplant into 3/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the excess water that makes eggplant have that awful, mushy texture. Wipe the eggplant fry with a paper towel to remove the water and all that salt. Don't skip this step or your pizzas will be wayyyy to salty!

While the eggplant is sitting, you can make the pizza sauce! (Recipe below!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of each piece of eggplant with olive oil and place on a parchment paper lined backing sheet. Roast the eggplant for about 25 minutes. I flipped the eggplant halfway through baking so that both sides got golden brown. 

Once the eggplant is roasted, top each piece with pizza sauce, grated cheese, and toppings of your choice and bake for another 8 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and slightly browned! Then top each pizza with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes! 

For the pizza sauce:
You can totally use your favorite store bought sauce, but if you are feeling fancy here is my recipe.....

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces of cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and water. Cover and bring to a simmer. 

When the tomatoes are beginning to cook down, about 20 minutes, remove the skins, they should slide off easily, and dispose. Once all of the skins are removed, remove and dispose the garlic cloves and crush the tomatoes until they are smooth. 

Continue cooking, uncovered for another 25 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is a deep red color. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.


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