After shying away from this recipe for months, I finally faced Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza, adapted by Kayln’s Kitchen. Julia may have been all about the pasta and bread, but she knew how to make some darn good gluten-free, vegan dishes too.
This recipe proves that healthy food does not have to be bland or expensive. Even Mrs. Child appreciated different textures and unexpected food combinations. Sure pasta and bread are the “neutrals” of cooking, but usually, vegetables work perfectly as substitutes in carb-heavy dishes.
To prove my previously stated point, I give you Example A: Eggplant Pizzas. They provide a fresh alternative to the traditional high-calorie pizza and boast more fresh ingredients. Enjoy!
Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas
1 globe eggplant
1 tbsp salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
About 2 tbsp olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
2 tsp Italian seasoning, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting
10 large basil leaves, cut in strips
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella
Hot red pepper flakes for sprinkling finished pizza
2-3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Cut eggplant into 3/4 inch thick slices. Place eggplant pieces on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid. (After the eggplant sits for 15 minutes, turn on the oven to 375F/190C.)
Make the tomato sauce while the eggplant sits. Heat 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the garlic just until it becomes fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and oregano. Then let the sauce simmer on low until it’s thickened. Break up tomatoes with a fork while the sauce cooks. (You can add water as needed. Let sauce simmer until ready to put on eggplant slices.)
After 30 minutes, wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels. Grease roasting pan and lay eggplant slices on it. Then brush the tops of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Roast the eggplant about 25 minutes, but “not so long that the slices become mushy and lose their shape” as Julia says.
While the eggplant roasts, thinly slice the fresh basil leaves and combine Parmesan with Mozzarella. After 25 minutes or when eggplant pieces are done, remove eggplant from the oven and turn oven setting to broil. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices and top with cheese blend. Put pizzas under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Sprinkle pizzas with red pepper flakes, if desired.