Summer is here, and the options for delicious eating are too many to count! But if you insist on enumerating your options, do consider my eggplant pizza slices. Easy, ready in under 30 minutes, and gobble-up-every-last-bit good, they are exactly what you want for dinner tonight (even if you did not know it until this moment!).
Eating pizza requires neither reason nor season. Nevertheless, this (almost entirely) vegetable version is just the thing when you come home with a haul from a summer farmer’s market and, upon unpacking, realize, “Oh. Right. Now I need to make something with all of this, pronto!”
Yes, there’s always salad. And roasting with a splash of olive oil is great. But by simply layering a few ingredients, several slices of summery, pizza bliss are within reach with minimal effort (= more time for savoring summer reading lists :)).
The inspiration/urgency to make this dish comes from
my very own my husband’s garden. My contribution has been harvesting a solid 25% of the time (I know, what a helper). At least my appreciation is 100%. The garden may be small, but it is bountiful thanks to Kevin’s hard work and our many springtime showers this year. Behold:
All that you need to make this dish is the above ingredients, a bit of mozzarella cheese (or your favorite melting cheese, non-dairy varieties included), olive oil, salt & pepper. Then again, save for the eggplant, most everything is flexible based on what you have. Swap basil or parsley for the arugula, for example, or use sliced tomatoes in place of the cherry.
I also added a few entirely optional bonus toppings, including some briny olives, roasted pepper strips, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds (the boys of the house thought this last addition was entirely uncalled for, but I loved it). It’s pizza, so make it your own!
Sure, you can have this for dinner, but also for lunch or as a snack. If cold pizza appeals (yes!), rest assured, these slices are delicious chilled, too.
Need more convincing? Surely not. But this should seal the deal: this pizza is incredibly good for you. Boasting almost 20 grams of protein per serving, it is also rich in fiber, potassium (thank eggplant for all three of these), and calcium, as well vitamins C and A (arugula and tomatoes).
In sum, eat your pizza!
- 1 medium-large eggplant (about 1 pound/500 grams)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- 1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (use nondairy alternative, if desired)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered, if large)
- 3 tablespoons EACH sliced olives and sliced roasted bell peppers (either or both are optional)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1 cup arugula leaves
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Position eggplant on cutting board with stem side up; using a large knife, cut eggplant into ½-inch thick slices.
- Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush top sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese, and tomatoes (also add olives, roasted peppers, and/or sunflower seeds,if using).
- Return pan to oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes longer until eggplant is tender when pierced with a fork, cheese is melted, and tomatoes are softened.
- Top eggplant slices with arugula and serve!