In our house, when I'm at a loss for topping ideas for Pizza Night, we turn to this family-favorite -- Pizza with Eggplant, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella!
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If you do a quick internet search for tips on how to menu plan, you'll get tons of results. Some folks like to print recipes and keep them organized in a three-ring binder. Others like to use meal-planning apps so they can create grocery lists more easily. Then there are folks who save everything to Pinterest... and the people who prefer using a regular old pen and paper.
You all know that I've been sharing our weekly menu plans for years now. But what you see here on the blog is a simple list of the dishes I'm going to make on which nights. You don't get to see the backend work that goes into those plans.
You may laugh when you read this... but my meal-planning system involves a spreadsheet that I can access on my laptop and my phone. When I find recipes I want to try, I drop them into the spreadsheet. If I'm having trouble coming up with ideas, I scroll up and look for dishes that I've already made. Bonus points for the ones I've made that got rave reviews from my family.
This process is why this particular pizza from Ree Drummond has become a family favorite. It's been more than five years since I first discovered the simple and delicious pizza recipe on her blog... and this pizza is a regular in our Pizza Night rotation.
Read on to see how I've adapted the eggplant pizza recipe to create a pizza that causes the kids to squabble over who gets the last piece!
You're going to want to start with your eggplant. Slice them up and arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet that's been covered with paper towels.
To help release some of the moisture in the eggplant, sprinkle each slice lightly with kosher salt and let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes.
To make sure you remove as much water from the eggplant as possible, use paper towels to blot them dry. If my eggplant slices aren't too thick, then I'll press down pretty hard. If the slices are on the thinner side, then I'll take the more gentle approach.
After you've dried the eggplant slices, cut them into wedges. Depending on the size of the slices, you may wind up cutting them into 4-8 pieces.
Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven then toss the slices around before broiling the eggplant for another 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and top the slices of eggplant with grape tomatoes that have been halved and [tons of] minced garlic.
Put the pan back in the oven and broil the vegetables for another 2-3 minutes. You want the tomatoes to start to wrinkle and the garlic to brown but not burn.
Yum, yum, yum. You're going to be tempted to eat those veggies straight off the pan. Go ahead and allow yourself a little nibble or two and try, try, try to save some for the pizza.
Now, let's talk about pizza dough for a quick second.
I've only just started experimenting with homemade pizza dough recipes and haven't found one that I'm completely in love with yet... so store-bought pizza dough is a staple in our house. I buy a bunch at a time and keep them in the freezer.
Roll your dough (or stretch, if that's your thing) and place it on your pizza pan. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the dough and use your fingertips to spread the oil all over the dough.
Slice your ball of fresh mozzarella into thin slices and arrange the slices on the top of the dough.
Next, layer on the vegetables you roasted earlier.
Then top with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Slide the pizza into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes at 500°F. While you're waiting, make yourself a tasty cocktail or pour some wine... because this pizza deserves a lovely beverage to go with it.
Your mouth is watering, right? You want a slice of this right now? Then add this flippin' ridiculous eggplant pizza to your menu plan as soon as possible!
Pizza with Eggplant, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella
When I'm at a loss for topping ideas for Pizza Night, we turn to this family-favorite -- Pizza with Eggplant, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella!
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 whole medium eggplant
- Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound pizza dough
- Olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- While your preheat the broiler, arrange a single layer of paper towels on some baking sheets.
- Slice the eggplant thinly and place on the baking sheets. Sprinkle kosher salt on the eggplant and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Pat the slices of eggplant dry with additional paper towels.
- Discard the paper towels and cut the eggplant slices into 4-8 pieces, depending on how large the slice is. Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil for 3 minutes.
- While the eggplant is roasting, mix the tomatoes and garlic in a small bowl. Toss the eggplant and broil for another 3 minutes. Add the tomato and garlic mixture and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Roll or stretch the pizza dough and place the dough on your pan. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the dough and use your fingertips to spread the oil over all of the dough.
- Lay the mozzarella slices over the top of the dough then arrange the vegetables over the top of the cheese.
- Top with the grated Parmesan and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the pan and slice with a pizza cutter. Serve immediately!
Notes: To speed things up, I often broil the eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic all together. I toss with a bit of olive oil before putting the vegetables under the broiler and then broil for 5-minute increments until the vegetables are browned.
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