Say it with me! MOUSSAKA!
Here’s a recipe that’s not only tasty and a favorite in our family, but it’s also fun to say…
Any time B sees eggplant at the grocery store, the first words out of his mouth are a request for moussaka (he actually calls the eggplants “moussakas” but we’re working on that). I had never even heard of it until I started down this traditional foods path and it’s now one of my go-to recipes come eggplant season.
Bonus: it tastes even better the next day.
This particular recipe is adapted from the Nourishing Traditions version which makes an ENORMOUS amount of food and is far more complicated than I have the energy to deal with right now (peeling tomatoes? pffffffft. who has time for that?). My version is mom-of-two-young-children-friendly. 🙂
About an hour in advance of cooking, peel and slice your eggplant into very thin slices. Layer the slices in a bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt, then let it rest for an hour.
When your hour is close to being up, you can start to brown the beef. While that's cooking, drain your eggplant slices in a colander and rinse them well. Lay them out in a single layer on a broiler-safe pan (I use a cast iron skillet) and brush them with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Broil them until they're slightly browned (8 minutes for me, but your mileage may vary).
Meanwhile, once your beef has browned, add the onion, tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, and salt and simmer it all until most of your liquid has evaporated.
Brush a casserole dish (I use a 9-inch round dish) with extra virgin olive oil and put down a layer of eggplant slices. Top that with a layer of the beef/tomato mixture and repeat this process until you have no layers left. Top with the grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until cheese starts to turn golden).
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions