mini eggplant pizzas

So it’s Tuesday and there’s nothing really notable about this day. Sure, it signifies the end of Monday but, there’s not even a cute Tuesday wine reference like Thirsty Thursday or Wine Wednesday, or a memory hashtag like #TBT or #WBW. Tuesdays are the new Wednesday of the week: a forgotten hangnail of a day that you just have to deal with (if anyone knows of a Tuesday reference I’m forgetting, please comment below).

So, I look back on old recipes and wonder if revisiting them will spruce up an otherwise very dull day.

Pizza is very important in my home; my mother got me the Breville Pizza Maker one year for my birthday and Joe immediately coveted it, engorged with pizza making knowledge from years of having to make them at one of his first jobs. It’s about as serious as when I make pasta; the noodles have to be “just right” for that Italian man.

So when I decided to make mini pizzas and not on pizza dough he was a bit perplexed. About as confused as when I mentioned cauliflower pizza dough… He’s a purist, I think.

Eggplant is very versatile and I love its deep hue for Fall. You can get creative with your pizza but, here’s what I did if it can give you some inspiration.

You will need:

* Eggplant (as many as you think you’ll need)

* Olive oil

* Mozzarella (already shredded if you’d like, to save time)

* Chicken (get the strips that you would ordinarily use in quesadillas or fajitas – they’re found with the meat and sometimes also in the deli section pre-seasoned and cooked)

* Spinach

* Salt and pepper

* Little tomatoes (grape tomatoes or smaller)

* Basil and oregano (dried)

Start by sautéing your eggplant after washing it, drying it and slicing it into discs thick enough to cook but also to hold up with any toppings. I cut 1/4 inch to 1/2 cuts. Make sure to use a significant enough amount of olive oil in your pan as the eggplant will soak it up… Season the discs with salt and pepper and lay them in the pan with enough room so they don’t steam, but instead cook and get little crunchy caramelized bits on them. Keep the pan on medium / medium low or whichever setting you need for your pan to not smoke everything.

Move the discs and flip them.

When they’re a nice golden color and have the consistency you’d like, take them out and it’s okay if they cool. Prep the rest of your food. Cut the sliced chicken into smaller pieces. You’re trying to pile them on top of the pizza. Take the eggplant, place the cheese on them, then some oregano and basil, then the spinach and finally the chicken.

Pop them in the oven on 350 until you can see the cheese get all gooey and bubbly. I needed only 20 or so mins but I use a convection oven, you may need more or less. The chicken is already cooked so, I was just trying to melt the cheese and warm everything together. While they are in the oven, slice the tomatoes smaller but, keep an eye on your discs so you can remove them when they look the way you want.

Take them out to plate them and place the tomatoes and some more salt, pepper and either oregano or basil on top.

When you cut into them, the melted cheese will coat the crispy eggplant and the chicken and tomato with spinach feels like a sandwich but, everything eats like a pizza. This can really have anything on it: smoked salmon, regular salmon, shrimp, sliced scallops, smoked deli turkey, leftover Thanksgiving turkey… All veggie with meaty kalamata olives and mushrooms…

The possibilities are endless. Like this Tuesday that keeps dragging on, and on, and on, and on…

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