Eggplant Pizzas with Spicy Soppressata
& how I'm changing up how I approach cooking
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, musings, and faves in your inbox every Wednesday! Paid subscribers get even more! Learn more about my paid membership here. You can also try a week for free!
After a few weeks of travel, I’m back in LA and hopping back into work mode, but the weather has been killing me! It has been so cloudy and rainy, and it even snowed in LA? Scary. I really don’t do well without sunshine, hence why I choose to spend that extra money to live in a place that’s (supposed to be) perpetually sunny. Bring back the 75 degree days, please (yes I know I’m a brat).
Lately, I’ve really been struggling to come up with meals to create or film. Unfortunately, my mind seems to cater towards something new or interesting or what will look good on camera, and I feel like it’s stifling my creativity. Back in the early days of my Instagram career, I used to just buy a big batch of groceries and just take pictures of whatever I was making that day on a whim. I honestly built my following this way, and then when reels came around, it felt like a major shift in how I built my content. With the market saturated the way it is, I also felt like I had to make everything different or stand out, when the truth is, the way I eat is often variations of the same thing.
This week, I decided I wanted to attempt to go back to that way of cooking. Of course, there has to be some level of planning for recipes that go on my newsletter, and some dishes require testing a few times before I get them right. But I want to make an effort to share some of my more casual meals, especially since I am often most creative when I cook on a whim and use whatever leftovers I have in my fridge.
So here's to going back to my roots moving forward — I’m hoping it yields some inspiring results!
THINGS I’M LOVING!
Anela Malik, also known as Feed The Malik, is one of my favorite follows on Instagram (and she has an an awesome subscription community of her own), so of course, it’s no surprise that she has written yet another thoughtful piece on the influencer space that everyone should read. Her Twitter thread, which she eventually turned into an Instagram carousel, was a response to an article in The Washingtonian about the growing influencer scene.
Anela is always so articulate and nuanced, and I love how she references the more pressing problems we need to be looking at in the influencer space instead of harping on the trite criticisms of the job. We’ve all heard the stereotype that influencers are vapid, talentless, attention seekers, but instead of focusing on the same old superficial issues, we should be looking at lack of transparency, bias and privilege, accessibility, representation, etc. in the space. Not to mention that we should also be applauding those who are actually very talented, running their own teams, teaching themselves skills in media, reporting on issues, expressing their creativity, etc.
I received these Smoked Chili Flakes in a PR box and didn’t think much of it, but I’ve found myself using them quite often these days. They work well in pasta, Shakshouka, salads, toast, the list goes on. I always find that a little smokiness always elevates a dish, and this one is very subtle, in a good way.
Why has no one ever told me Salt and Vinegar Pistachios exist?! I feel devastated thinking about the years I missed out on this amazing snack. I recently received these from Wonderful Pistachios, and they are so good! If you like salt and vinegar potato chips, you’ll love these nuts!
I am new to eating eggplant — I was never interested in it for most of my life, but in the past year or two, I’ve seen so many people make it in appetizing ways, that I’ve fully become a convert.
There’s not much to go into about this recipe, as its pretty straightforward. The eggplant acts as a base for pizza, and then it’s topped with a pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil, and spicy soppressata for an easy meal that’s guaranteed to please both adults and kids alike.
I really wanted to add hot honey to this dish, but alas, I didn’t have any at time of cooking. However, I think hot honey or regular honey would taste amazing on this pizza.
Eggplant Pizza with Spicy Soppressata
2 medium eggplants
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2/3 cup pizza sauce
1 oz basil leaves (about 16 leaves)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
16 slices spicy soppressata
Salt & pepper
Optional: honey or hot honey
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut off the ends of your eggplants, and slice each eggplant into 4 pieces lengthwise (about 1-inch thick each). Score the eggplant with a knife, and place onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on a little salt, pepper, and oregano. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the eggplant from the oven, and spread marinara sauce on each eggplant. Rip up half the basil leaves, and place on each eggplant slice. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, and add 2 slices of soppressata to each eggplant slice. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and just starting to turn golden brown.
3. Finish off each slice with some more fresh basil, and drizzle on honey, if desired. Serve warm!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Last week, paid subscribers received a recipe for Chilean Sea Bass with Preserved Lemon Salsa Verde and Calabrian Chili Tomato Rice! This one was def a hit, so join the subscriber community to get this recipe along with an entire archive of exclusive recipes! You can always try a week free :)