Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eggplant Marinara Cheesebread

You know the cheesy, gooey bread you get from pizzerias? We all know we love it! So why not make it at home, and make it a little bit healthier by adding fresh vegetables? That's the thing I love about cooking, you can make comfort food that isn't quite health food, but you can feel good about eating it because you know what's in it. This cheesy Eggplant Marinara Flatbread is the perfect example. It has everything I love about pizzeria cheese bread, but I feel good about eating it! Don't like eggplant? See below recipe for other veggie options, or forgo the veggies altogether for some good ol' cheesebread. This technique is a keeper and will surely satisfy all of your cheesebread cravings!
Eggplant Marinara Cheesebread
A perfect appetizer or light supper!
Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as an appetizer

4 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, sliced in 1/4 in. thick slices
1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut horizontally in half, trimmed to 9-inch length
1 ½ cups marinara sauce
2 oz. soft fresh goat cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and pepper. Place in skillet and cover. Cook until tender, turning, 10 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Brush cut sides of ciabatta bread with remaining oil. Cook one at a time in skillet, cut side down, until golden (about 1 minute).

Place bread, cut side up, on baking sheet. Spread each half with ½ cup of the marinara sauce. Crumble goat cheese over and sprinkle with chopped basil. Top with eggplant. Mound mozzarella on eggplant, and spoon remaining marinara sauce over top.

Bake bread until topping is hot and crust is crisp, about 12 minutes. Cut each half into 4 pieces. Garnish with basil leaves.

*Don't like eggplant? This recipe would be equally delicious with charred tomatoes or zucchini. Prepare the zucchini similarly to the eggplant. For the tomatoes do not cover skillet, simply grill while turning frequently until blistered.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine

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