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:
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: