Moussaka is Greek, and is similar to Italian lasagna: a layered dish where meltingly soft eggplant slices take place of pasta. I don’t make moussaka very often, as Greg happens to have a huge irrational aversion to eggplants. I love them, so sometimes I’ll sneak in a chopped one here and there and he doesn’t even notice… Except, I can’t resist sometimes, so when he’s got his mouth full I’ll drop “that’s an eggplant.” The face I get back is priceless — and this is a grown man.
I think I overdid my fun the past few times, because he took one look at the moussaka and said “are those them??” See, I had to be more careful… In the end, you can predict what happened…it took me 4 nights to eat the whole pan by myself. Which I’m not complaining about…
Tip: Make sure you dry-fry the eggplants, otherwise they will soak up whatever oil you pour in the pan. I’m not a fan of salting them to prevent this from happening, and I found the dry-frying works very well.
Edit: hi! A couple of Greek readers contacted me regarding the recipe — pls keep in mind that an authentic moussaka recipe will include a layer of potatoes in place of the ricotta. Thank you for asking me to point it out! Have fun!
- 3 large eggplants, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of light ricotta cheese
- The Meat Sauce
- 450g ground meat (I use bison, but substitute extra lean ground beef if you’d like. Ground turkey would also be great)
- 5 shallots, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 14oz canned tomatoes
- The White Sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1¼ cups plain greek yogurt
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- fresh basil and oregano, to garnish
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Warm up a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, dry-fry the eggplant slices on both sides until browned. Set aside.
- Add the ground meat to the skillet and cook until browned. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned and translucent. Add the tomatoes, oregano, parsley and cinnamon, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in an ovenproof dish. Ladle on a thin layer of the meat sauce, then add another layer of the eggplant slices and meat. Use the ricotta cheese for one of the final layers. Repeat until the eggplants and meat sauce are used up.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the yogurt and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the eggplants and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.