Last year when I saw pictures of Erin’s eggplant flowers, I resolved to grow them in my own garden. Not for the fruit, mind you, but for the flowers. I have never grown eggplant before because my husband has always professed that it is the one vegetable that he did not like. He insisted that they taste like rubber tires and had brainwashed convinced my children that eggplant was inedible.
This spring, when visiting a local garden center, I saw some eggplant seedlings. Without doing any research, I impulsively picked the healthiest looking plant from the bunch and brought it home. All I wanted was a couple of pretty purple flowers and perhaps a few eggplants that I would cook up for my lunch at the end of the season.
As luck would have it, I bought a Hansel Eggplant which is a profuse producer. I also happen to have the perfect conditions for growing eggplant: lots of sun, moist, well drained soil, and manure rich compost. I have not captured any great flower pictures, but I now have over 20 eggplants on my bush.
As much as I like eggplant, I knew that I could not eat all that this bush is producing and decided I needed to make converts of my children and perhaps even my husband! I can get my kids to eat anything that includes pizza in the name, so I began my campaign with Eggplant Pizza Bites.
Eggplant Pizza Bites
- 3 8-10 inch fingerling eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup pizza sauce or leftover spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil. Place the slices on a baking sheet and baked until browned and almost tender, approximately 4 minutes each side.
- Spoon pizza sauce onto each eggplant slice. Top with cheese and sprinkle each slice with dried basil, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Bake until the cheese melts, approximately 4 minutes.
My husband and kids made quick work of the pizza bites. Three eggplants down, seventeen to go!
(Erin here ~ We are so making these with the eggplant that just budded out in the garden! I’m even gonna splurge on some dairy-free cheese to make them! Thanks Alea…amazing!)
Do you have any child-friendly eggplant recipes? Do share your favorites!!!
Alea shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home at Premeditated Leftovers. She is committed to providing her family with homegrown, organic produce despite living in an inhospitable climate.
Amy's Stocking Stuffers says
This is terrific! In my case, it’s not so much a matter of getting kids to eat veggies, but because I’m always looking for ways to incorporate a wider variety of veggies in my own diet. Can’t wait to try this!
Wendy (The Local Cook) says
I don’t know if it’s kid friendly, but the husband and I love good old ratatouille
I love this idea. I’ve been thinking about doing something similar with zucchini but haven’t done it yet.
BTW, your blog is looking great with the new design.
Welcome, Alea! It’s good to see you here!
We like eggplant, although we’ve never had any success at growing it. This recipe looks delicious!
Annie @ Beauty In The Surrender says
Great idea! I am looking for another way to use my eggplants and this is perfect! ♥
Kristy @momhatescooking says
I can’t wait to try these out. I’ve actually never had eggplant…and I’m pretty sure neither has the rest of my family. I’m excited to try it out!
The Eggplant Pizza Bites looks great. Its something to really to considered when you are looking for something new to eat.
I don’t have the book any more, but one of your readers might… More with Less Cookbook edited by Doris Jantzen Longacre had a sort of cubed eggplant gratin thing with cheddar cheese and saltines in it that NEVER made it to leftovers. If any of you all have the book, there are a lot of $5 dinners in it!
Such a great idea!! I am going to try these next week! I just cooked up some Eggplant last week and made Baked Parmesan Sticks out of it. Basically, cut like french fries (long sticks), dip in flour-parmesan-bread crumb coating then egg, and bake for about 25 min. Serve with marinara for dipping.
Thanks for this new recipe! 🙂
Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! says
My cousin makes a mean Eggplant Parm. And it’s freezer friendly! Here’s her recipe: http://gapeachmom.blogspot.com/2009/11/cousin-brendas-eggplant-parm.html
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says
These are adorable!! I LOVE the idea of these! Thank you so much!!
Minneapolis Attorney says
What a great idea! I am always looking for eggplant recipes as it’s hard to find new ways to use it. Thank you.
Angelia Johnson says
I love egg plant. I love the Egg Plant parm. Also tempura egg plant is good. I also like it in the veggie Lasagna. Here is a couple of recipes from
Cheesy Stuffed Eggplant
Firm eggplants sliced and stuffed with Provolone and a tomato sauce highlighted with anchovies, capers, onion and garlic. Drizzled with olive oil and baked in a hot oven until cheesy and delicious.
4 Firm Medium-Sized Eggplant, washed, trimmed
1 pound Plum Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 ounces Provolone, finely diced
4 Salted Anchovies, rinsed and boned
1 Onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons Salted Capers, rinsed
handful of Basil Leaves, shredded
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Make several deep parallel cuts lengthwise in each eggplant, being careful not to slice all the way through.
2. Open the eggplant like you would a book. Dust the eggplant pages with salt and stand the eggplants upright in a colander.
3. In the meantime, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet. Saute the onion slices until soft.
4. Add tomatoes to onion slices. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer one half hour.
5. Add capers, basil leaves, garlic and anchovies to the tomato mixture. Cook a few additional minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
7. Rinse the eggplant and pat the eggplant pages dry.
8. Distribute the diced Provolone cheese and the tomato sauce mixture evenly between the pages, and arrange the eggplants an ovenproof serving dish.
9. Sprinkle with abundant olive oil, and bake 1 hour.
10. Serve hot.
Fried Eggplant Southern Style
Fried eggplant southern style goes great with southern fried chicken and follows a similar cooking method. Eggplant dredged in egg and buttermilk, coated in cornmeal mixture and deep fried.
1 large or 2 Medium-Sized Eggplant, stems removed
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup Buttermilk
3/4 cup Fine-Ground White Cornmeal
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Oil, for frying
1. Cut eggplant into 1/3 inch slices.
2. Season with salt.
3. Place eggplant slices in colander to drain for 20 minutes.
4. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and buttermilk.
5. On wax paper or cookie sheet, add cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
6. Press eggplant slices between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
7. In heavy skillet, heat 1-inch oil to 350 F.
8. Dip eggplant in egg, mixture dredge in cornmeal mixture. Shake off excess.
9. Fry eggplant 2 minutes, turn and fry 1 minute. Eggplant should be golden brown.
10. Drain excess oil, place on paper towels.
11. Season with salt and pepper.
12. Serve immediately.
I’ve never been an eggplant fan but I DO like me some zucchini and methinks it would make a delightful substitution. Now to convince the veggie hating hubby…..
Amy E says
I grew up in Texas where my grandparents would grow just about anything and so I grew up liking most vegetables and being from the South we fry a lot. So eggplant is wonderful fried like you do squash or okra add a dash of salt after they are finished and man o man are they good! Just about anything is good fried! LOL!!! If you are trying to be healthier(as healthy as you can get frying) try Canola oil and wheat flower still tastes good either way and sea salt!
Kathi Kraftyzales says
I didn’t want to heat up the house, so I sauteed the eggplant slices in olive oil, then place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Heated up some pizza sauce and spooned onto each slice. Then sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. I melted this in the broiler for 10 minutes. Yum!!
All this was good as low-carb.
Cathy Moran says
Baba ghoush is a marvelous dip made with roasted eggplant. If it can be eaten on a chip, my kids are enthusiasts.
YUM!! Miniature eggplant parmesan!
This was DELICIOUS. We made it tonight and, despite winging it with cheddar slices instead of mozzarella and slices of one big eggplant instead of fingerlings, the pizzas were applauded by all. And so easy and cheap to make! Thank you so much for this idea!
question…are you sposed to peel eggplant before you use it??
No, I don’t peel eggplant before I use it.
Thanks for interesting recipe Alea. I am going to make a special page on my site http://www.eggplant-recipes.net for cheap and original recipes. Looking forward to new ideas from you.
Marianne Bodine says
I love eggplant…can’t wait to try these “bites”
can you use italian eggplants?
Alea Milham says
Yes, but the bigger the eggplant the bigger the “pizza”. You may need to cook the eggplant a little longer the first time to make sure they are fork tender all the way to the center, but that is the only change necessary.
Do you know if these freeze/reheat well (thinking make ahead work lunches here…)?
I have never frozen the eggplant pizza bites, so I am not sure how they will freeze. My guess is that it might slightly impact the texture. If you freeze them, please let us know how they do.
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