I was recently asked to become a member of Gastropost, and after sharing my first food post last week, I was featured on their website! One of the nice things about Gastropost (aside from seeing all the great food pictures) is that each week, they post a new “mission” to complete. It’s great inspiration for new cooking techniques, twists on old favourites, and incorporating different ingredients into every day meals. Even though the weather in Toronto has been less than cooperative lately, this week’s mission was to heat up the grill and get something yummy cooking.
Jay and I aren’t huge meat eaters so I wanted to use the BBQ to create a vegetarian main. I really LOVE grilled eggplant, and so I decided to give barbecued eggplant pizzas a try. Let me tell you, it was worth standing in the rain (read: Jay standing in the rain) for a short time to create these delicious pizzas. We only use our BBQ for meat, so after grilling the eggplant on tinfoil I baked the pizzas in the oven, but if you’re okay putting cheese on your BBQ, then the whole thing could be done outside. These make a really nice, light summer meal, and if you’re able to stay out of the kitchen while preparing them, all the better.
Barbecued Eggplant Pizzas
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp olive oil, plus ¼ cup
1-2 tbsp balsamic glaze, or 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 eggplants sliced lengthwise, about ¼ to ½ inch thick (not too thin since the eggplant gets soft as it cooks)
~ 1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
bocconcini cheese or fresh mozzarella, cut into small rounds
¼ to ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350. Marinate the tomatoes in roughly 1 tbsp olive oil, balsamic glaze and salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are well wrinkled but still slightly firm. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While tomatoes are baking, use a brush to lightly coat the sliced eggplant with the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Heat grill to medium heat, and cook until nice grill marks develop and then flip once. Be sure that eggplant is still slightly firm, then remove from heat.
- Dress the ‘pizzas’ with marinara sauce (do not over sauce or the eggplant will become soggy), a few of the tomatoes, and some bocconcini cheese. Top with a bit of grated parmesan, and then either bake at 375 for 10 minutes, or return to grill until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh basil.
I served the pizzas with an arugula salad that included all of the pizza ingredients – the remaining roasted tomatoes, some of the eggplant chopped into cubes, some bocconcini cheese, and I used the balsamic tomato juice as a dressing.