So you’re in college, you’re broke, you’re hungry, and you have access to an oven. This is the recipe for you.
I made eggplant pizza today after hitting up the Haymarket farmer’s market (seriously like the best place ever) for some produce. I try to go weekly because fresh produce makes any meal taste amazing and it happens to be super good for you. Win win. The eggplant, which has to be as tall as a gallon milk jug and as wide as a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, cost me $1. The rest of the materials I found sitting in my fridge, waiting to be consumed (how convenient!). It was a pretty great afternoon.
1. Fresh, whole eggplant ($1)
2. Tomato/marinara/pizza sauce ($1.50/jar)
3. Cheese ($3/package)
4. Oil/butter/oil spray ($2/package)
Keep in mind that you won’t use all of any ingredient; I still have 3/4 of an eggplant left, most of my cheese, and basically all of my olive oil and marinara sauce. I’d estimate it cost me around $2.50 for the entire meal.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
2. Coat a cookie sheet or baking pan with oil, nonstick spray, or something else to keep it from sticking (I used extra-virgin olive oil because that’s what I had)
3. Slice eggplant into about 1-inch thick (or smaller) discs and place on greased pan
4. Spoon your red sauce (I used mushroom/pepper blended marinara) onto the tops of the discs and spread it out
5. Place shredded cheese on top of the sauce, basically covering it
**Please note that any cheese you use will probably taste good. I had a variety pack with Pepper Jack, Swiss, and Cheddar and made one each–they were all good. My favorite was probably the Swiss with some of my roommate’s pesto on top (she offered, I promise). Also, it doesn’t have to be pre-shredded or anything; like I tore mine from slices into chunks and it worked. Really, you can’t mess up.
6. Place in the heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. I didn’t actually measure the time, I just kind of waited until the cheese was melted and took them out
7. Serve and eat immediately (I’d recommend using a fork and knife)
I happen to add salt and pepper to my eggplant out of habit, but I couldn’t taste it at all and don’t think it really makes a difference. The more sauce and cheese you add, the better it’ll taste, and if you want to add toppings, more power to ya. I’d recommend pesto because it was delicious, or anything else you’d find on a pizza–you seriously can’t go wrong. Enjoy!