Moussaka

This week I thought I would share some of my favorite go-to recipes with you. First is moussaka, or my take on a moussaka-like dish using what I have on hand.

Moussaka

  • 2 globe/Italian eggplants, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups total of any vegetables you have available to you (onion, carrots, celery, fennel, rutabaga, kohlrabi, mushrooms…any combo of these works here)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • About 2 cups of tomatoes, cut up (fresh or canned, whatever you have)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks

Sprinkle both sides of eggplant rounds with salt and brush with oil. Either bake or grill the eggplant until it is tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 3 cups of vegetables and saute until the vegetables are very tender. Mix in garlic. Saute until juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Mix in oregano and cinnamon. Add tomatoes and parsley. Cook until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of eggplant rounds in single layer in dish. Spoon half of tomato mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, tomato mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot sauce. Pour sauce over vegetables in dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. If you’re making this ahead, cover and refrigerate here.)

Bake moussaka at 350°F until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes (or about 55 minutes for refrigerated moussaka). Cool 15 minutes.

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