Eggplant “pizza”

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It’s not really a pizza — that’s why, in the title, “pizza” is enclosed in quotes. But it is like a pizza because it has a crust, and a tomato and cheese topping. In fact, it is like pizza Margherita because the topping consists of slices of fresh tomato, basil leaves and cheese. But it is not a pizza because the crust is a slice of eggplant cooked a la tempura.

So, to describe the dish again — a snack or appetizer that consists of fried eggplant slices coated with crisp golden bread crumbs topped with slices of fresh tomato, shredded cheese and chopped basil leaves. Once assembled, the cheese is melted with a kitchen torch to give it that melted pizza goodness.

Speedy’s idea although we made the pretty little things together.

Recipe: Speedy’s eggplant “pizza”

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (the large fat kind so you get wide slices)
  • about 1/2 c. of flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • about 1 c. of panko or Japanese bread crumbs (don’t know if ordinary bread crumbs will work)
  • salt and pepper
  • about 1 and 1/2 c. of vegetable cooking oil for frying
  • 2 to 3 tomatoes
  • about 1 c. of shredded cheese (we used sharp Cheddar but feel free to use what you’ve got)
  • chopped basil leaves, as much or as little as you like

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, egg and panko in bowls. Stir 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper into each bowl. Arrange the bowls like an assembly line.
  2. Slice the eggplant. One-fourth inch thick works best — if too thin, the eggplant slices turn too soggy; if too thick, they have a tendency to be undercooked by the time the panko is nicely browned and crisp.
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  4. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour making sure that both sides are coated.
  5. Then, dip the floured eggplant slices in the beaten egg — again, making sure that every inch of the surface is coated with egg.
  6. Drop the eggplant slices in the bowl of panko, pressing as much bread crumbs that the egg coating will hold.
  7. If you want an illustration of the last three steps, see the ebi tempura recipe.
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  9. Heat the cooking oil. If you have a kitchen thermometer, 350F is ideal. I don’t have one; I just wing it.
  10. Fry the eggplant slices, a few pieces at a time to avoid the temperature of the oil from dropping too much. Flip the eggplant slices after a minute or so to brown both sides well.
  11. As each batch of eggplant slices cook, scoop them out and drain on a stack of paper towels.
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  13. Slice the tomatoes, about one-fourth inch thick, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped basil.
  14. Place a slice of tomato on top of each fried eggplant slice. Smother with shredded cheese. Use a kitchen torch to melt the cheese. Alternatively, put under a very hot broiler for about a minute or two. Sprinkle with more basil and serve.
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Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2 to 4

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Comments

  1. chall says

    wow! sarap.. tried something like this too, but my “crust” was fish fillet and we had it for lunch with rice. will try the eggplant version tomorrow!

  2. Blackwidow says

    This is genius. I will try this soon. My kids so love eggplant. I’m sure they will love this: tempura and pizza rolled into one.

  3. says

    Tin, yep, I think the salty feta will make it unnecessary to salt the tomatoes. They’ll go together well. :)

    Blackwidow, re “My kids so love eggplant”. Aaayy, that’s good! Sam loves eggplant but Alex does not. :(

  4. Sharon O says

    This looks yummy, Mrs V! I love fried crumbed eggplant. Mr Speedy has some pretty cool ideas too doesn’t he :-) It reminds me a bit of eggplant parmesan, but without all the layers and without the tomato sauce. Brilliant!! All the yumminess without all the hard work ;-)

  5. Renee says

    Hi Connie, It’s been awhile since I have made a comment, although have putting my fave recipes form your blog on my ziplist to have it really handy. And could not help but pin it so that more people can appreciate all the great recipes you have. Since chicken has been “banned” from my diet, have been looking up your stir-fry veggies and loving it. This looks super-delicious, will try it since I plan to have eggplant for lunch. Thanks again for this.

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