These 5-Ingredient Mini Eggplant Pizzas are perfect to serve as an appetizer at your next diner party, or even as a side dish with an Italian-inspired meal!
If you could go back in time and ask 7-year-old Christina what her favorite food was, she would without a doubt say “pizza”. And I think this stems from elementary school days where we had pizza parties. Somehow the utter excitement of the class upon hearing we were having a PIZZA PARTY (WUTTT!!?!?!) greatly influenced my opinion of pizza. Pizza was the greatest food group (yes, GROUP). Pizza IS heaven.
But, as I so constantly preach on this here blog, everything in moderation. So unfortunately, that means I can’t have pizza every single day (or else I probably would…). So I’ve come up with a way to resolve this horrifying problem. Little eggplant pizzas!
I love eggplant, and I think my love for this vegetable grew after visiting Sicily, where it was ubiquitous as a menu option, in all forms (melanzane in Italian).
Speaking of elementary school… remember when the little things used to excite us to no end?
I was at a wedding this past weekend, and at the wedding there were these giant Jenga games in the lawn (it was outside in a beautiful garden). I couldn’t help but notice the adults standing, cocktails in-hand, engaging in conversation with friends old and new. Meanwhile, the children were going H.A.M. on this Jenga. Having the time of their lives. With wooden blocks stacked on top of each other. The simple things.
Something happens as we grow up. We are engulfed in responsibility, worry, stress, work. We forget the value in the simple things. We lose that sense of excitement that we once had when we younger. We used to see a pizza party as the greatest day of our lives, and now, pizza is a last resort option when we don’t have time to cook.
And that’s why I preach the philosophy of celebrating every step. Taking the time to realize that even though it may have been something small in relative terms, whatever it is, is awesome. (Just like these mini eggplant pizzas – small, but awesome.)
So I have a challenge for you.
Do something that you used to get excited for as a child this week. No matter how silly it may feel.
Build a fort. Watch an old movie with a giant bowl of popcorn (and maybe throw some M&Ms in *woah*). Make chocolate chip cookies and eat too many. Go on a bike ride and notice any wild life around you.
Take a moment, appreciate, and celebrate.
Back to your regularly scheduled program.
These little gems were ridiculously quick, and ridiculously good. There’s just something about the sweetness of eggplant combined with smooth yet crispy mozzarella and salty prosciutto.
I do have to note, that if you are not a fan of bitter flavors, make sure to remove the skin before eating. Eggplant skin is very bitter, which can change the whole flavor profile when consuming. I am one of those people, so when I ate these, I simply tore off the skin (which comes off very easily after roasting!)
- 1 eggplant, sliced into ½-1 inch think circles
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Marinara sauce
- *Optional toppings:
- Sliced prosciutto
- Fresh basil
- Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the eggplant slices onto a baking pan and sprinkle each slice with salt. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the water to excrete. Eggplant are a very moist vegetable, and for the sake of firm pizzas, you want to drain the moisture!
- When you come back to your slices, you'll notice droplets of water on top. Use a paper towel to sweep off the salt and the water.
- Lay eggplant back on the baking sheet and drizzle evenly with extra virgin olive oil. Do not add any more salt!
- Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and spread about a tbsp of marinara (or pizza sauce) on each slice. Sprinkle with desired amount of mozzarella cheese on each, in addition to whichever toppings you prefer.
- Set your broiler to high.
- Add the eggplant back in and broil for about five minutes, or until the cheese is melted and crispy.
Join the conversation:
What’s something that you used to get SO STOKED about as a child?
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