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).