Take a trip to Greece without ever leaving your kitchen! This recipe for Eggplant Moussaka is a popular Mediterranean dish that will have your taste buds singing its praises.
In the mood for comfort food? We’ve got you covered with this amazing recipe for Eggplant Moussaka! This traditional Greek casserole is made with eggplants, potatoes, a rich, tomatoey lamb mixture and topped off with a deliciously creamy sauce–in other words, pure food perfection at its finest.
While you can make this recipe any time of year, it’s especially delicious in the fall and winter months. It also has a high nutrition profile thanks to the canned tomato products used, as they provide a plethora of antioxidants (such as lycopene) that play an integral role in the reduction of certain types of diseases and cancers. In fact, numerous studies have linked lycopene consumption with prostate cancer protection. While lycopene is present in other fruits such as watermelon and pink grapefruit, tomatoes (which are the second most consumed vegetable second to potatoes in the U.S.), account for more than 85% of the lycopene in the American diet. Interestingly, cooked tomato products may hold particular significance, as the lycopene from cooked and processed tomatoes is more bioavailable than that of fresh tomatoes. Heating or processing breaks down the tomato cell matrix and promotes isomerization of lycopene from all-trans isomers to the more bioavailable form of cis-isomers. Research shows that single daily servings of processed tomato products produce significant increases of lycopene concentrations in blood and buccal mucosal cells in healthy adults.
So what are you waiting for? Whip up this Eggplant Moussaka for a comfort food delight that you won’t soon forget!
Take a trip to Greece without ever leaving your kitchen! This recipe for Greek Moussaka is a popular, traditional Mediterranean dish that will have your taste buds singing its praises.
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour35 minutes
3 eggplants, cut into ½-inch slices
1 lb. russet potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground lamb
5 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 sprig rosemary
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
5 Tbsp. all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 large egg
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Line your work surface with paper towels. Arrange the slices of eggplant on top of the paper towels. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Place the potatoes into a pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to touch, slice them into ¼-½ inch thick slices.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add in the lamb. Cook and crumble the lamb until it has browned and fully cooked. Then add in the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and then mix in the tomato paste and whole tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to crush and break apart the whole tomatoes. Stir in the cumin seeds, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 50 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400˚F. Pat the salted eggplant dry with paper towels. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan, enough to coat the bottom of it, over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Melt the butter in a sauce-pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and mix until it turns into a paste. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat so that the sauce is simmering. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, while whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove the sauce-pot from the heat and mix in the egg, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spray a large cast iron with cooking spray. Arrange the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Then layer the eggplant slices on top. Spread the meat sauce evenly over the eggplant then sprinkle the parmesan on top. Finish with pouring the cream sauce over top. Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes until the top is set and golden brown. Enjoy!
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