If you shop at a farmers market, or simply love buying all the summer produce at the grocery, you’ve probably found yourself in an all-too-familiar situation come July: there are eggplants in your fridge, and you don’t know what to do with them. Well, get excited because starting now, this healthy flatbread pizza recipe will be your answer.
I started making this recipe last summer when I was faced with a similar eggplant glut. I had some good bread (we were in Malibu, where I am never without a loaf of Gjusta sourdough), a container of whole milk ricotta, and some fresh tomatoes from the farm…and this recipe was born. It was ridiculously good, and I’ve made countless iterations since. Since I’m always on the hunt for an easy healthy pizza recipe, it was only a matter of time until that perfect ingredient combo made their way from toast to crust.
For me, the perfect summer food has to check a few boxes—quick assembly, very little cooking, and major reward on the flavor scale. This healthy flatbread pizza recipe is also piled high with veggies, plus a solid boost of protein in the form of ricotta, making it a summer dish that feels as good as it tastes. Read on for the recipe…
What’s the difference between flatbread and pizza?
This is actually a hot debate among people who actually care (lol), so I’ll break down the general pizza versus flatbread opinions here. Many foodies say that the main difference is that pizza is made with a yeasted dough that yields that puffy, chewy texture. Flatbread, on the other hand, is typically unleavened, with a thin, super-crispy texture.
Almost every culture in the world has some type of flatbread, whereas pizza is a wholly Italian invention. Think roti, naan, and tortillas. However, some flatbreads (like pita) use some yeast, and actually do puff up with a more pillowy texture. And technically, pizza is a type of flatbread itself, so I’m using the term “flatbread pizza” as an umbrella, since you could use just about any of the aforementioned flatbread bases to bring this to life. We just happen to be using pizza crust here.
What type of crust to use for a healthy flatbread pizza recipe
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can use countless types of flatbread as your base. I’ve made this on naan (delicious), and it would be great on pita. Use your homemade pizza dough and roll it out thin, or do as I did here and buy par-baked individual pizza crusts that you can top and throw in the oven (or on the grill!) And don’t forget that this healthy flatbread pizza recipe was originally born as toast—so feel free to grill some sourdough and use these toppings for a perfect summer dinner for one.
How to prepare eggplant for pizza
If you’ve ever googled “how to prepare eggplant,” you likely got all kinds of complicated instructions about salting the eggplant and letting it drain to remove the bitterness. Well, my hot take is that is all completely unnecessary. With a liberal toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, your eggplant should lose all its bitterness in the cooking process—the key is that you just need to cook it really thoroughly so that it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside, and completely chewy and cooked through on the inside.
For this recipe, we really want that charred flavor, so you can either pop it under the broiler (as I do in the recipe below), or toss it on the grill and cook over indirect heat until cooked through. I love to make extra eggplant and use the rest in salads or sandwiches the next day—its meaty texture is perfect for a plant-based meal.
Scroll on for the recipe for this healthy flatbread pizza recipe with eggplant and ricotta, and don’t forget to leave a comment and rating if you give it a try!
- 4 small or 1 large flatbread or pizza crust, baked
- 1 large or 2 small eggplants
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion, sliced as thinly as possible (I used a mandoline)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted or candied walnuts, chopped
- honey and flaky salt for finishing
- Preheat broiler. Slice the eggplant in 1/2" rounds, then toss evenly with olive oil, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil for about 5 minutes on each side, or until eggplant starts to get crispy on the edges and is completely tender all the way through. Remove and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta, garlic, and honey. Mix well and set aside.
- Set out your flatbread crusts, then divide ricotta mixture between them. Spread evenly, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Layer on the eggplant and tomato slices, then top with shallot, mint, and walnuts. Cut into slices, and add a drizzle of honey and pinch of flaky salt to finish. Eat!
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