In my last batch of vegetables from my parents there was not one, not two, not even just three eggplants.  There was 5.  Five.

Clearly, that posed to be a bit of an issue for me.  The only thing I’ve ever done with eggplant- aside from using it in lasagna- was make babaganoush.

Luckily, my roommate just happened to slide a copy of “Joy of Cooking” onto our bookshelf.  I immediately flipped to the ‘eggplant’ section and found this moussaka.  Yes, there was an eggplant section.  *As a side note- this book is amazing.  Anything you have ever thought of cooking is in here.  It’s beautiful.*

Not the prettiest meal, but it was definitely tasty.  There is a bit of time required to make the dish, but I took a few short cuts [mentioned after the recipe] with great results.  The meal has a savory/sweet thing going on, and I bet it would be even more amazing on a nice cold fall night.

The original recipe from “Joy of Cooking”

2-2.5 lb eggplant

-slice eggplant, salt generously and let stand ~30 mins

1 lb ground lamb or beef

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

14oz. canned diced tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp sugar

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup water

salt and pepper

-brown meat, add salt and pepper to taste.  Add olive oil, stir until tender- 5 minutes.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring, until fragrant.  Add in tomatoes and spices [except bay leaf] and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30- 45 mins.  Mixture should be thick and fragrant. Remove from heat once most all of liquid is gone and add bay leaf.

-Preheat broiler.  Rinse and pat dry eggplant slices.  Oil baking sheets and add eggplant.  Brush with olive oil and broil 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned and softened.

-Preheat oven to 350˚.  Grease a 3qt baking dish .  Make an even layer of half the eggplant in the bottom of the dish and spread sauce over it.   Top with remaining eggplant- bake 30  minutes.  Meanwhile beat together:

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup greek yogurt

dash or paprika

salt and pepper to taste

-After 30 minutes, remove dish from the oven and pour egg mixture over it.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of either Greek kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese.  Return to oven and bake another 25-30 minutes.

***Some adjustments to the original recipe:

1.] I used roasted tomatoes for my ‘canned tomato’ since I had about 3 pints of cherry and grape tomatoes from my mom. 2.] I substituted ground turkey for the lamb/beef option 3.] I shaved some pecorino paramegiano instead of the greek cheese they called for.  I think feta or goat cheese would also work really well. 4.] Of all the spices called for, I literally only had cinnamon so that was all I used- still tasted great.  5.] I short-cutted the times.  I still broiled the eggplant, but I assembled everything- including the greek yogurt mixture and cheese topping- and baked it one time.  Time is money!

Totally versatile dish.

To keep my music streak going, here’s a new one for you I’ve really been diggin.  No official video, but you’ll get the point:

Blind Pilot, “Half Moon”


2 thoughts on “Moussaka

  1. I love Moussaka! I’m sure the roasted tomatoes made for a nice, concentrated flavor and a sturdier structure for slicing and serving. Thank you so much for giving a shout out to my family’s book! If you ever have any feedback to share about a recipe (or anything else for that matter), please be in touch.


    P.S.- I know ground lamb is a little less available and perhaps more expensive than turkey or beef, but I tell you: it’s totally worth finding for this dish!

    • Thanks for the shout out! I live the cookbook! I cant wait to make more recipes from it! I really liked my version, but i agree- lamb is amazing. I want to try the recipe again and actually follow it- I had to make so many substitutions!

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