Monday, February 21, 2011

Eggplant pizza

This post is part of The Great Pizza Experiment

Topped with roasted red pepper strips, cherry tomato slices, kalamata olives, ricotta, and fresh basil
I've seen a couple of recipes for pizza crust made out of eggplant (notably, here and here) so I thought I should give it a shot. It is touted as a veggie crust where you don't have to squeeze out the moisture. Well, after I grated the eggplant, it was basically in a pool of its own liquid. I can assure you that the pizza would have been extremely soggy had I left it as-is. I squeezed out the excess liquid by putting it in a tea towel and wringing it out. I weighed the eggplant before and after, and I had 20 oz undrained but only 7 oz after squeezing. With that much water I think it was a necessary step!

Thick or thin crust: I'd say medium
Taste: Depends on how much you like eggplant. It's a stronger-tasting vegetable so if you like eggplant, the flavor is great. If you don't like it, there is certainly no mistaking it for anything else.
Texture: 5. It did get browned on the outside, and I like that you can easily eat it with your hands. However, there was something...cardboard-like about the texture. I like eggplant either roasted and pureed (i.e. baba ghanoush) or cooked at a very high temp with a caramelized outside and soft, creamy inside. The outside was browned but not really caramelized, and the inside was kind of dry. I think that next time I may add some extra fat, such as egg yolk and/or olive oil and see if that helps.
"Realness": 2. This is an interesting dish, sort of an alternative to eggplant parmesan, but I don't think of it as a true pizza.
Ease of preparation: Easy to medium. It takes a little while to grate the eggplant if you do not have a food processor with a shredding disk. Also, flipping the crust over halfway through requires some finesse.

EGGPLANT PIZZA
Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • About a pound of eggplant, shredded
  • 1 whole egg, beaten (I used an egg white but I think that a whole egg would be better)
  • 1 oz, weight (about 1/4 cup) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs flax meal or almond flour (I used golden flax meal)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Olive oil 
  • Sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Toss the eggplant shreds with the salt while you prepare the other ingredients. This will help draw out some moisture.
  3. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the eggplant by wringing it out in a tea towel.
  4. Combine the drained eggplant shreds with the other ingredients.
  5. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray it with olive oil. Press the eggplant mixture into a round shape about 1/4" thick.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Flip the pizza crust over and bake for 5-10 more minutes or until browned on the other side.
  8. Add your toppings and bake for 5 minutes more.
NUTRITION (1/2 pizza, crust only)
110 calories, 4g fat, 5g net carbs (14 total + 9g fiber), 7g protein,
Note: I am not sure how draining the eggplant ultimately affects the nutrition values. I am using the counts for undrained eggplant.

6 comments:

Amanda Strassner said...

I've only tried a few, but so far my favorite pizza crust has been the eggplant crust exactly according to thisprimallife's instructions... I'd imagine it's a little milder in taste than yours (since it uses 8x as much almond flour) and holds together a tiny bit more (since it has 2x the cheese). I'd recommend giving it a shot in the future. I wonder how it would be with some mozzarella cheese, too... hmm.

Erica said...

Hey Amanda! The proportions are actually pretty close to the pizza from thisprimallife. However, since she doesn't drain the eggplant, I decided to cut way back on the cheese and flax because of how much liquid was expelled. I had 20 oz (weight) of grated eggplant prior to squeezing, and only 7 oz afterward! But I really did love this pizza, largely because I like eggplant so much, I just liked it more as an eggplant dish as opposed to a pizza substitute, if that makes sense! I may definitely try it with more cheese, it seems to make such a difference in low-carb pizzas.

Anonymous said...

I have this for supper and got rave reviews. Thanks so much for a great recipe. Also posted it to my FB page. Just too good not to share

Anonymous said...

I ate this, it was amazing. I made it for my in-laws. The silence was golden as they nommed into it.

Best ever!

Anonymous said...

My kids love this. They normally do not like eggplant at all. I made it once following your recipe and a second time substituting other leftover veggies for about 1/3 of the eggplant. This was great!!!

Anonymous said...

Family loves eggplant so tried this. Everyone loved, but messy. Had trouble draining "enough". I decided to "dry" the shredded eggplant in on low heat in the oven and it worked great. I drain the eggplant for an hour or so and then line a baking pan with foil, separated out and put it in the oven for 45 mins. to an hour...checking periodically and redistributing...the low heat vaporizes the moisture.

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