And here’s another lovely dish to cook that delivers amazing flavours and yet is surprisingly light to eat. Instead of using pizza dough, this genius recipe use thick slices of a large eggplant for the pizza base, topped with a flavourful tomato sauce, cheese and spinach.
This is not my recipe, but unfortunately I cannot recall where I got this from, since it’s something I discovered 10-12 years ago.
- 2 large eggplants, sliced 3/4 to 1 inch thick
- Tomato sauce (you can use a bottled pasta sauce or use the recipe for a spicy tomato sauce below)
- Mozzarella, Parmesan or a sliced cheese of your choice
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach or rocket leaves
- 100-120g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Salt & pepper to season
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line a baking tray with a baking sheet.
Now place the eggplant slices next to each other on the baking tray, brush each side with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and let them bake for 15-20 mins. Remove the baking tray with the eggplant from the oven and turn on the grill. Keep the eggplants in the baking tray.
The other way to cook the eggplant slices is to shallow-fry them in a large pan, similar to how we make Bengali begun bhaja (fried eggplant with mustard oil). Fry them till they are just done, else they can become very mushy.
Once the eggplant slices are cooked, spread a tbsp of tomato sauce over each slice of the eggplant, followed by either a slice of cheese or a tbsp of grated cheese and then top with some spinach or rocket leaves and cherry tomato slices.
Place the tray with the eggplant slices back in the oven, now with the grill function on, and grill for 3 – 5 mins to let the cheese melt. Keep a close eye on these while grilling as they can burn really fast. Remove the tray from the oven and serve the slices on individual plates or a large serving plate.
Spicy Tomato sauce
- 300-400g tomatoes
- 20g tomato paste
- 2-3 small garlic cloves, minced
- 100g chopped white onions
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper for seasoning
- 1/4 cup red wine
- Olive oil
- Fresh parsley
Heat oil in a saucepan or pot, and saute the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and let it cook for 15 mins. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt, pepper, sugar and chilli flakes, especially if you like it to be more spicy. Add the chopped fresh parsley at the end (optional)
I’ve played around with this sauce a fair bit, sometimes just throwing together left over stuff in the fridge to produce a topping.
As a I said at the start, these are really tasty and I can’t stop myself from having at least 2-3 slices when we make these at home 🙂