The internet is full of genius solutions to making pizza without pizza dough. Most of these recipes are for health or lifestyle and diet choices; an attempt to avoid the carbohydrates or phytochemicals that pizza dough is laden with. A couple of weeks ago, when husband took child off to go grocery shopping while I stayed behind to work on homework, I was charged with putting together a lunch for while they got back. My requirements were simple and few: I needed something that I could scramble together with the remainder of the prior week’s groceries, and something I could set and forget. Our meal plan for that week included:
- Braised eggplant (from which there was still a fresh, whole eggplant in the fridge)
- Pollo Piquin (of which we still had plenty of sauce)
- Ham Pucks (which left us with a bit of cheese).
The Piquin sauce is basically a tomato sauce, made less spicy than what husband and I would like to make it more palatable to a small child (who does sometimes eat salsa with serranos mixed in to it). And we regularly eat plenty of salads, and keep the odd vegetable around to put on top. In this case, a bit of shaved fennel frond lent another layer of flavor and a bit of texture to the party. Carrot tops brought more flavor, and another texture.
I did have carrots in the fridge, but I opted to use the tops instead for the texture. Eggplant pizzas can get soggy and gummy. Toppings with different textures help ensure a pleasant mouth feel. Of course, there are dozens of options out there for a base instead of eggplant. Patty pan squash and zucchini are popular options. You could use beets, turnips, parsnips, or any other vegetable that holds itself together well when roasted. Even thinly sliced potatoes could be an option. Regardless of what you use for the base, it will need to be at least 2 inches in diameter once sliced. Otherwise, the pizzas will just sort of fall apart.
A meal of cobbled together leftovers and “extra” or “leftover” ingredients took about 5 minutes of active preparation time, put something delicious on the table on the return of the husband and small child, and gave me nearly an hour and a half to get some work done.
Makes 8 – 12 mini pizzas
- 1 egg plant, sliced thinly.
- Pizza sauce (or other left-over, somewhat thick sauce. Bechamel works great as well)
- Fennel fronds
- carrot tops
Slice the eggplant thinly and place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and slide into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is nearly done. If you do cook the eggplant all the way, there’s nothing to worry about.
While the eggplant is cooking, prepare your toppings. I used thinly sliced fennel fronds and some chopped carrot tops. Shred your cheese.
Pull out the eggplant and top with sauce, cheese, and other toppings as you would a normal pizza. All this goes back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so or until your cheese is melted. Serve.