I LOVE un-recipes. What's an un-recipe? Basically any sort of thing where you don't have to measure and you can just chuck different ingredients together and it seems to work out like magic. Enter, the eggplant mini pizza. This (un) recipe comes from my visit to the Tuscan cooking school in Cortona where we made an almost undigestible amount of food and it is still one of my favourites based on the sheer fact you can always throw it together with what might look like an odd assortment of leftovers. Basically all you have to do is gather a variety of bases (sauces), a bunch of different toppings (meats and vegetables) plus some cheeses (goat, mozzarella, anything you like!) and then add a bit of fancy garnish, like Nonna Pia's balsamic glaze, arugula, nutritional yeast, cracked black pepper etc.
The (Un) Recipe:
Sauces: pesto, tomato paste, olive tapenade, sautéed tomatoes - anything you have!
Veggies: lightly sautéed onions, garlic, peppers, whatever you like!
Meats: chorizo, pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, etc
Cheeses: goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, again - whatever you have on hand!
Slice the eggplant into 1" thick slices.
Sprinkle both sides with coars sea salt and lay on double layer of paper towel for at least 20 minutes. Use this time to get your toppings ready! Do NOT skip this step! You need to allow some of the moisture to be removed from the eggplant unless you'd like to eat a mushy mess. So, while you wait, use this time to slice up some veggies, mice some garlic, grate or crumble some cheese etc - whatever you have on hand
Slap It Together:
Place eggplant slices on a baking tray, lightly brush with olive oil and bake for 15 min at 400F
While you are waiting, quickly and lightly fry up whatever veg you choose in some olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. You want the veggies to be a bit soft but not mushy! The eggplant will add a lot of moisture to the whole dish.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and spread a little bit sauce on the surface, topping with any combination of veggies, meats and cheeses that you like. Change things up! Try different combinations of sauces, toppings and cheeses. *Note - if using goat cheese, prosciutto or arugula I like to add that at the very last minute before eating so that it doesn't go super crispy
Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove and let cool slightly, drizzle with Nonna Pia's balsamic glaze reduction and add any final toppings you like - fresh basil, goat cheese, arugula etc.
Now stuff your face!
My eggplant pizza combinations featured in the photo were:
1) pesto, sautéed mushrooms & onion with nutritional yeast
2) Sautéed tomatoes, chorizo salami with goat cheese
* Extra garnishes spread around over both pizzas: arugula and Nonna Pia's Strawberry Fig Balsamic Glaze Reduction.