Generally, I’m a pretty efficient grocery shopper, buying what we need and using perishable items before they go bad. But, sometimes I get a little over zealous in the produce section and come home with WAY too many fruits and veggies. During squash season, I pretty much need one of every squash variety (dumpling is a favorite). I usually have plans for all the items, but the work week can sabotage cooking time. So, I have a few recipes that help to clean out the fridge and to rescue food from being wasted. Eggplant pizza is one that makes a pretty large batch, perfect for bringing to work for lunch!
What You Need:
Because this is a “clean out the fridge recipe”, eggplant is the required base and toppings really depend on what you have and want! Here’s the latest combination I made:
- 1 eggplant
- 4-6 plum tomatoes
- Handful of baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
What You Do:
- First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prep the eggplant. After much experimenting, I’ve found a method I love:
- Cut the ends off the eggplant.
- Using a veggie peeler, peel strips of the skin length wise, creating a striped effect. The skin can be tough, but I think it adds flavor and texture, so I simply keep half. Plus, the skin is full of fiber and antioxidants.
- Slice the eggplant into slices 1/2″ thick and place on lined baking sheets. Make sure the thickness is even so they slices cook evenly.
- Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until eggplant starts to become tender. You don’t want them to get mushy as you still have to cook again with the toppings.
Note: many salt the eggplant slices and let them sit for an hour before baking to draw out the bitter flavor. I’ve tried salting and have skipped salting and have not noticed a difference. So, my vote is to save time and skip salting!
2) Prep the sauce while the eggplant is baking — this is so easy (I promise)! It is a lazy version of sauce — most would skin and seed the tomatoes, but this works for me and tastes great.
You can also skip this and use and tomato sauce you have on hand.
- Quarter the tomatoes, dice the garlic and throw in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to season.
- Cover the pot and heat over medium heat until the tomatoes start to soften.
- “Mash” the tomatoes in the pot with an immersion blender or potato masher.
You’ll have something delicious looking like this…
3) Roughly chop the basil leaves and slice the mushrooms.
4) Drizzle a little olive oil on each eggplant and season with salt and pepper as you’d like.
5) Spread some of that amazing sauce on each slice and add your toppings of choice.
6) Turn the over to broil and place back in the oven for a few minutes or until the cheese melts.
Enjoy! I love these for lunch during the week and can also make great apps.