Close your eyes and imagine……….Yummy eggplant, delicious spicy marinara, arugula, purple onion, sundried tomatoes, Greek olives and feta cheese. Perfectly Mediterranean. Don’t you feel like you are in Greece right now?
As you know…. I’m all about some Italian/Greek food. These eggplant pizza’s are one of my favorite appetizers, but I have it often as a meal when my husband is away and I’m on my own for dinner. The flavor combination is perfect. I love a good glass of Pinot Noir with this dish.
Remember how we need to eat more veggies and less meat?
Well….Eggplant is a perfect way to start. Eggplant is an amazing, versatile vegetable that provides tons of fiber and disease fighting antioxidants. Eggplant has a really firm texture and it is easy to use in many different ways. Due to the amount of fiber in eggplant, it has been found to be a vegetable that may help in the prevention of colon cancer. Studies have shown that it may help control Type II diabetes, and help those with cholesterol issues as well. Give it a try and see all the different options available when cooking with eggplant.
Fourth of July Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson was an experimental botanist and he introduced eggplant to the United States in 1806.
|Eggplant Pizzas|| |
- 1 large eggplant, washed, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick (Alternatively you may leave the peel on. It is edible.)
- 1 jar of organic all natural pasta sauce (I used Rao's brand)
- 2 cups of baby arugula (You may use baby spinach)
- ¼ of a small purple onion, sliced very thin
- ¼ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup of pitted Greek olives, sliced
- ¼ cup of high quality feta cheese
- Fresh basil, chopped- to garnish
- Peel and slice eggplant and place slices onto a paper towel. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant and let set for approximately 30 minutes. (This draws out any bitterness in the eggplant.)
- Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.
- Oil a large baking sheet with a small amount of olive oil.
- Place eggplant onto the baking sheet and top with pasta sauce. Approximately 1 Tbsp. per slice.
- Top with arugula first and then onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes only. (Do not overcook- eggplant needs to remain firm.)
- Remove and place onto a serving platter.
- Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.
** The information on the benefits of eggplant were gathered from the website http://www.elements4health.com/eggplant.html