Pizza night is making a come back around here.
I know this is almost sacrilegious to say, but I've never been much of a pizza person. Never. It's not like I don't enjoy it, I just don't crave it. I'm currently reading Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant (go read it now!!) and one thing recently occurred to me: I would probably never make pizza if I were alone in the kitchen.
However, as I dig my way deeper and deeper into this book, I'm also realizing I have one thing in common with most of the writers (and probably many of you): cooking is my means of expression, and not just creatively. I do cook to be creative, but I also cook to channel my emotions. A slice of chocolate cake? That's actually me saying "Oh my gosh, thank you soooo much." A loaf of bread, still warm? "Welcome; stay a while." Food is my best form of communication.
So how did I end up alone in the kitchen making this pizza-like concoction? Well, this pizza is a big hug. It's the kind of hug that wraps you up the minute you walk in the door and holds on tight (that smell!). Oliver does crave pizza--at least he talks about it- and since cooking is my favorite form of communication, I've been hard at working making a pizza dish that feels like a hug.
We've eating deep-dish style pizzas once a week for the last several weeks, and pizza night is becoming a habit! This pizza is different though. It has ditched the crust and is build upon layers of thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant, and then cooked until the veggies have soaked up all of the flavor of the marinara sauce. Once the vegetables are soft and juicy, I pull out whatever cheese we have in the house and cover the top. Next is always pineapple chunks, which are the house favorite. Then hot Italian sausage crumbles and when we have them, sliced black olives.
Under the broiler the pizza goes for just a few minutes--until the cheese is bubbling and the sausage sizzles- and as it comes out, so does the smell of fresh pizza, like a giant hug all around you.
Serves: 2-4 | Total Active Time:
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1-1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
- Pizza toppings of choice (I used 1/2 cup Hot Italian Sausage crumbles and 1/2 cup strained canned pineapple chunks. Often I also use sliced black olives)
- First, slice the zucchini and eggplant into thin rounds. Then, in a oven-safe skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot and glistens, place the eggplant slices down in the pan. Cook the eggplant on one side for 5 minutes, and then flip it over, cooking the other side for 3 minutes.
- Next, layer the zucchini rounds over top of the eggplant in an even layer. Pour the marinara sauce over the veggies, and bring to a simmer. Place lid on skillet, and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
- Turn off stove. Spread cheese in an even layer over the dish, and then add your pizza toppings to taste.
- Turn the broiler to high, and place pizza on the middle of the oven. Bake for 2-5 minutes, depending on strength of broiler (watch closely) until cheese begins to bubble.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Scoop with a large spoon into plates.