Julia’s Eggplant Pizzas {A Meatless Monday Recipe

Julia’s Eggplant Pizzas {A Meatless Monday Recipe

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Julia Child’s eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you’ll totally forget about pizza crust.

I first blogged about Julia’s eggplant pizzas for Meatless Monday back in August of 2013. I was a little intimidated by this recipe because I was worried that the “pizzas” weren’t going to be good. At that time, I didn’t have a lot of experience cooking eggplant and there was a part of me that wanted to wuss out and make Eggplant Parmesan instead. After battling it around in my mind a few minutes, I finally took a deep breath and proceeded to make the “pizzas” hoping I wasn’t wasting time on a meal that wasn’t going to taste good.

I was so wrong to think that way, these eggplant pizzas are delicious! I should have known Julia Child wouldn’t steer me wrong.

I recently revisited this recipe and decided to revamp the old blog post. Let me show you how I made Julia’s eggplant pizzas:

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This is the recipe that taught me about salting eggplants. Putting salt on the eggplant trigger osmosis, which draws out excess moisture and the bitterness along with it. It also seems to make the texture of the eggplant less mushy and I have to say it’s one of the greatest tips I have learned in my years of cooking eggplants.

This simple process begins with a globe eggplant. First, you both ends from the eggplant; then cut it into ½-inch thick slices. Next, you place the eggplant pieces on a double layer of paper towels (or place in a strainer) and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid. Salted eggplant can sit for hours without harming the taste or texture, so you could actually salt them overnight in the refrigerator to save time when you prepare them.

The photo below shows what this process looks like. You can learn more about salting eggplants HERE!

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

While the eggplant slices drained, I made the tomato sauce and allowed it to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.

After the eggplant slices sat for about 15 minutes, I turned on the oven and preheated it to 375 degrees F.

When the eggplant drained for the full 30 minutes, I rinsed the salt off well, under cool water and patted the eggplant dry with paper towels. ~ It’s very important to rinse the eggplant slices well, or they may be too salty if you don’t. I know this because it has happened another time when I made these pizzas.

I laid the rinsed and dried eggplant slices out on a baking sheet brushed them with olive oil, and sprinkled with the Italian seasoning, then placed them into the preheated oven to roast for about 15 to 20 minutes. ~ It’s important not to overcook the eggplant slices, they need to maintain their composure to hold up to the sauce and cheese, so don’t cook them to death.

When eggplant slices are done, I removed them from the oven and preheated the broiler on High.

I spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice and topped the sauced eggplant slices with a sprinkle of the fresh basil and topped the basil with a generous amount of cheese; returned the “pizzas” back to the oven under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

I served the eggplant pizzas hot, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and extra basil leaves.

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Wow, were these pizzas good! I do not know why I worried about these so much. I could have eaten all of the pizzas by myself.

At about 200 calories a serving, who cares!

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

After scarfing up the last one, I had visions of doing this again, using Portobello mushroom caps, which I also have made since I originally posted this recipe.

I hope you’ll like this recipe as much as we did. Just think about all those carbs you won’t be eating with pizzas made like this!

Julia's Eggplant Pizzas

Julia Child's eggplant pizzas are low-carb and gluten-free, made using eggplant slices in place of traditional pizza crust. The eggplant slices are topped with warm tomato sauce, piled high with cheese and so good you'll totally forget about pizza crust.
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian / Meatless Monday
Keyword eggplant pizzas, gluten free, Julia Child, low-carb, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 197kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant about 8 ounces and 9 to 10-inches long
  • salt for salting eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for brushing eggplant and baking sheet
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows)
  • Italian Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • cup mozzarella cheese shredded or sliced
  • 5-10 basil leaves cut in chiffonade strips, + extra for serving (optional)
  • hot red pepper flakes for serving (optional)

Italian Seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

Tomato Sauce

  • 15 ounce canned tomato puree
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut it into ½-inch thick slices.
    Put the eggplant slices on a double layer of paper towels (or place in a strainer), sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid.
    After about 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    After the eggplant drained for at least 30 minutes, rinse the salt off well, under cool water. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. 
  • Lay the rinsed and dried eggplant slices out on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil on both sides, and sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.
    Place them in the preheated oven to roast for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    When eggplant slices are done, remove them from the oven and preheat the broiler on High.
  • Meanwhile, combine the tomato sauce ingredients in a small pot. Stir well; simmer on low heat stirring occasionally, until needed.
  • Spread a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce on the top of each eggplant slice. Top the sauced eggplant slices with a sprinkle of the fresh basil, then top the basil with a generous amount of cheese.
  • Return the "pizzas" back to the oven under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Serve the eggplant pizzas hot, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and extra basil leaves, if desired.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from Julia's book: From Julia Child's Kitchen
  • Shortcut: use store-bought sauce instead of making your own.
  • Salted Eggplant: Putting salt on the eggplant trigger osmosis, which draws out excess moisture and the bitterness along with it. It also seems to make the texture of the eggplant less mushy. However, it is very important to rinse the eggplant slices well, or they may be too salty. 
    Salted eggplant can sit for hours without harming the taste or texture, so you could actually salt them overnight in the refrigerator to save time when you prepare them.
  • Do not overcook the eggplant slices, they need to maintain their composure and hold up to the cheese and sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 13.8mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 2.5mg
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Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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