Grilled Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Who doesn't love mini foods? These Grilled Mini Eggplant Pizzas are a surprisingly wholesome meal and you can eat as many as you want. Seriously.
- 3-4 eggplants
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 cup EVOO (The higher quality, the better!)
- 3 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tomatoes, diced (Beefsteak or cherry tomatoes are good choices)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil, for topping
- Preheat grill to a medium heat, making sure you have a large area set up for indirect heat. In the meantime, dice your tomatoes, and chiffonade or tear your basil leaves for a fresh topping at the end.
- Slice eggplants into 1-inch rounds. Depending on the length and width of your eggplants, this will yield 12 to 15 eggplant medallions. Thicker slices are perfect for placing directly onto the grill, though if you want a thinner "eggplant crust," you can slice into 1/2-inch rounds. If that's the case, we recommend cooking in a cast iron skillet placed on a grill.
- Lay eggplant rounds flat on paper towels. Sprinkle salt across both sides of the medallions, and let sit for about 20 minutes until excess moisture is absorbed.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil and Italian seasoning. Brush both sides of eggplant rounds with mixture. Make sure you're using a higher quality olive oil as they have higher smoke points than lower quality store varieties.
- Place eggplant rounds directly onto the grill over indirect heat to soften. Close the lid, but keep an eye on the surface of the eggplants, checking every minute or so. On our propane grill, the eggplants softened to the perfect texture in about 4 minutes. You want the rounds to be sturdy, especially around the skin, with a softer middle.
- Once the medallions have softened, remove from grill. Brush what you'll consider the top of your pizza with olive oil once again. Cover each medallion with diced tomatoes first, then add the cheese. This will ensure that the diced tomatoes don't slide off the rounds. Cheese nets, for the win, y'all.
- Place the mini pizzas back onto indirect heat and close the grill lid for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted. On our propane grill, it took about 53 seconds for the cheese to fully melt.
- Remove from the grill, and top with fresh basil. If there is any Italian seasoning-olive oil mixture left, you can add a few drops to the top of each mini eggplant pizza.
While this relies on an olive oil base for the pizza sauce in a margherita style, you can swap in marinara for the tomatoes for a truer pizza vibe. The eggplant, if sliced thickly enough, will withstand the weight of the marinara and toppings, like pepperoni. If you'd like to stick to the margherita style, but don't want to dice tomatoes in prep, you can substitute canned diced tomatoes for sprinkling. Want to go the carb route?