Yikes! Where’d the past week go? Think I can blame my absence on a Thanksgiving tryptophan-induced coma?? Seriously though, once the dishes were cleaned from our Thanksgiving dessert, I felt myself melt into an unproductive pile of mush. I just needed a little time to recover from the rush of Thanksgiving and gear up for the holiday rush. I’m ready now. Mostly.
It wasn’t a completely unproductive week though. I decided to try my hand at making one of those adorable yarn wreaths I’ve seen pictured online. I made one, admired it for a bit, then got sucked into a major crafting time warp. I awoke covered in bits of yarn and a web of those stringy glue gun remnants. I made sixteen yarn wreaths, complete with handcrafted felt flowers and tiny green leaves, over the course of six days. I barely remember making them. They just sort of appeared in a pretty pile on my dining room table. It’s kinda weird. Almost everyone I know is getting a wreath for Christmas…even one of you!
On top of manic crafting, I’ve been overfilling my calendar with holiday events, shopping lists, and cookie baking schedules. Suffice it to say, this is gonna be a busy month. And busy months require easy dinners – the sort of stuff you can easily prepare by throwing together a few basic ingredients, while still resulting in a tummy-warming winter meal. This eggplant parmesan pizza fits the bill perfectly. You could even make it with frozen pre-fried eggplant, if you wanted to keep it super, super simple, though frying your own eggplant takes minimal effort. That crisp fried eggplant gets scattered on a pizza shell (make your own or buy pre-made, like I did) along with pizza sauce, ricotta cheese, parmesan, and melty mozzarella for a simple, satisfying meal.
Today’s Focus on Technique – Salting Eggplant
It is often recommended to salt eggplant prior to frying it. This technique is best applied to larger eggplants which have been sitting in the grocery case for a bit. Baby eggplants or those that have been freshly picked will most likely be wonderful without salting. The purpose of salting the eggplant is to draw out some of the bitter liquid which collects in larger, older eggplants. The end result is better tasting, firmer eggplant which will absorb less oil as it’s fried.
To salt your eggplant, start by cutting or slicing your eggplant, as desired. Arrange the pieces or slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with a good amount of salt. Allow it to rest for approximately 20-25 minutes. Beads of liquid will begin appearing on the surface. Thoroughly rinse the eggplant and pat dry.
Eggplant Parmesan Pizza
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ slices
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- Vegetable or olive oil, for frying
- 1 pizza crust (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
*All measurements are approximate. Actual measurements will vary depending on the size of your pizza crust. I used a 12″ store-bought crust.
Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then pat dry.
Dredge each slice in the flour, then dip in egg, then dredge in the bread crumbs. Press the bread crumbs into the eggplant so that it is thoroughly covered. Heat a thin layer (about 1/8″) of oil in a large fry pan over medium/medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant slices for a minute or two on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Adjust the heat, as necessary, to prevent burning. Drain the fried slices on paper towels. Chop into small pieces.
To assemble the pizza: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the ricotta cheese in an even layer over the pizza crust. Spread the pizza sauce on top of the ricotta (I like to use a smooth and thick, tomato paste based pizza sauce.) Sprinkle about 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Arrange some of the eggplant pieces around the pizza. (You may have extra eggplant remaining.) Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until hot and melty.
I come bearing gifts… Want to win one of the 8″ wreaths I made? Keep it for yourself or cross someone off your shopping list! I’ll even try to match the winner up with a color scheme of your choice! If you’d like to enter to win a wreath, leave a comment about your favorite holiday tradition (any holiday) or your top tip for enjoying a stress-free holiday season. The contest will end at 12:00 noon EST on Saturday, December 8, 2012, when I will randomly select one winner. One entry per person. US mailing addresses only, please. Good luck!
i can relate Amy!! i have knitted 17 scarves for Christmas gifts…i am working on number 18 & it is taking me so long to finish because i am sick of it!! lol
my favorite holiday tradition has become decorating the Christmas tree with my kids! i love the conversation that goes into each ornament they place on the tree…remember when i got this one….etc. really fun times!!
My favorite holiday tradition is making pepparkakor with my son every December. They are thin spicy Swedish cookies that remind me of some of my ancestors. They are delicious and complicated enough that I appreciate making them once a year. Thank you for the great pizza recipe and all your posts-
Making goodies with the kids
Wow! I would LOVE to win one of these gorgeous wreaths! My fave family tradition is decorating the Christmas tree. 🙂
family74014 at gmail dot com
Very cute wreaths!! My top tip…online shopping 🙂
Best tip ever!! I was saying the same thing yesterday after only 2 hours out and about! 🙂
I love to play Christmas Music, sip Champagne and decorate my artificial tree. I have a ton of ornaments and try to vary my tree design/color scheme each year, this year is a mix of gold and silver. Another tradition I make a large batch of stick pretzels, nuts, and various types of cereals with white chocolate melted and poured on mix and let it cool, then break apart. It’s called white trash and Is very popular with friends and family!!
My favorite Holiday tradition is my father, and now my husband and me, going into the living room on Christmas morning and pretending that Santa indeed forgot to fill our stockings and then allowing the kids to go in and be surprised. It never failed to excite us to a fever pitch because we always knew he was kidding.
My favorite traditions are just little things with my girls–new ornaments every year, the same breakfast every Christmas morning, decorating the house while playing Christmas music.
Thanks so much for the pizza recipe! I know what you mean about a crafting time warp…you lose all track of time.
We have 2 main Christmas traditions. On Christmas Eve, we always order from our favorite Chinese restaurant. Kind of funny I guess, but we love the food and it gives us some time to relax before the hectic day of cooking and excitement on Christmas day. The kids look forward to it each year. On Christmas Day, the kids wake up and open a couple of presents under ‘their’ tree upstairs while waiting for Grandmom and Pop Pop to arrive to open presents. They love having their grandparents over to watch them open what Santa has brought and then eating a big breakfast with french toast casserole, sparkling apple cider and mimosas (for adults of course). 🙂
Hope all of you have a fantastic Holiday Season – I look forward to your posts and love your blog! Thanks!
That’s a crazy amount of wreaths to make and not even quite remember. Hahaha.
I haven’t made homemade pizza in such a long time. I think I need to fix that!
My favourite holiday tradition… Hmmm… New Year’s Day breakfast. We usually have chicken souse (which I hate, so I don’t like the tradition if that’s the meal), stew conch, stew fish, or something else soupy like that with johnny cake. Ok, so I only really like the johnny cake. Haha.
One of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was the cloth advent calendar that my mother put up every year…it had a pocket for each day and every year she put candy or treats in it for me and my brother. These days I still love the countdown to Christmas day with music and baking but I love the tradition of a nice breakfast before opening gifts with my family. Good stuff! And by the way, I LOVE eggplant parm but never thought about it on pizza, great idea!!!
love love love love love your wreaths!! i can relate to the glue webs as we’ve made a few wreaths and a bunch of fabric floral pins 🙂
favorite holiday tradition = MUSIC (love christmas music), fire place glowing, candles everywhere, decorating the tree…one mismatched ornament tree with the kiddos, one “fancy” tree on my own 🙂
My best tip is to finish shopping as early as possible. We pick up things for people all year round, especially our parents because they are difficult to buy for.
Your recipe looks great, I make pizza at home at least once a week and am always trying different concoctions. One of my favorites has an olive oil base with minced garlic, spinach, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, pine nuts, mozzarella and fresh basil.
My favorite Christmas tradition is watching Jaws with my dad Christmas afternoon before we have a big dinner with the famil
My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve reading the books my dad used to read to my brother and me. The Night Before Christmas, the story of Jesus’ birth and Santa Mouse are all read in pjs, in front of the tree. Happy Holidays!