Eggplant Parmesan Bread Pizza

My family and I were in the mood for a quick “fast-food” tasting meal the other day, and I happened to have received Rachael Ray’s weekly email that morning.  I noticed a recipe called “Eggplant Parmesan Pizza”  and it looked great.  The only hitch was that my daughter hates eggplant.  After reading through the recipe, I thought I would give it a try since the eggplant actually turns into a sort of spread that I was hoping she wouldn’t notice.

I was right.  The pizza was a hit, and she still has no idea that she was eating eggplant.  Give it a try, it’s a quick, tasty, healthy vegetarian meal that is sure to please.  Kids love any type of pizza, so don’t tell them what it is, and they’ll love it!

Eggplant Parmesan Bread Pizza
2 small firm eggplants
¼ c EVOO
Salt & pepper
1 onion chopped
2 garlic chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (I used a leftover bruschetta mix that I had, I believe it was President’s Choice)
1/3 c basil leaves torn (I didn’t have any so I left this out)
1 loaf ciabatta bread cut in ½ horizontally (I don’t know what type of bread I used, but it wasn’t ciabatta.  I don’t like the flour on the crust of most Italian breads, and I like a lot of dough, so I bought a loaf that was only slightly crispy on the outside, with a lot of soft dough on the inside – it was at No Frills, nothing fancy, it cost about $1.50)
½ c parmesan
8 slices smoked mozzarella (use whatever you have on hand – I used friulano cheese from the farmer’s market…yum)
I also had leftover goat cheese that needed to be used up, so I spread this on the bread first (more below)

Preheat the oven to 450.  Halve the eggplants lengthwise and using a small sharp knife score the flesh into small cross hatch cubes being careful not to cut through the skin.  Drizzle with 3 T of the EVOO, and salt & pepper.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile in a medium pan heat the remaining 1 T EVOO over medium heat.  Add the onion & garlic and cook for 6-7 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt & pepper.  Stir in the basil (if using) until wilted.  Keep warm over low heat.  Scoop out the eggplant flesh and spread on your bread (this is where I spread the goat cheese on first.  I didn’t have much, but it added a creamy tanginess that you can only get from goat cheese).  Top the eggplant with your tomato mixture, parmesan, and then mozzarella.  Place on a baking sheet and toast until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.  I broiled it for a little longer, probably about 10 minutes but you really have to watch it.  Cut each loaf into 4 pieces and enjoy!

I served this with a salad, and everyone loved it.  We had leftovers for days because of the size of loaf I used. 

Until next time!