Sunday, September 16, 2012

Moussaka - lightened up

We love Greek food here (and Italian and Korean and French and Chinese and ...) but sometimes the heavy sauces can get a person, well, heavy - so here's a lighter take on the classic eggplant casserole, moussaka. I roast the eggplants instead of frying them and I use a Greek yogurt based topping instead of a heavy white sauce...still tastes authentic and its quite easy to prepare. This is a great dish to do ahead, either the day before or weeks/months before (if you freeze it).


  • 3-4 eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4"
  • 2-3 yukon gold potatoes (optional)
  • 1.5 lbs ground meat (lamb and/or beef)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled

Prepare eggplant:
Lay the eggplant slices flat on a paper towel lined tray, and sprinkle with salt, turn over and sprinkle other side. Place paper towel over and repeat, weigh down with a heavy book/pan. Let sit for 30 mins. Rinse and blot dry. Brush a baking tray with olive oil and lay eggplant slices flat on tray, brush with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 30 mins, turning halfway through baking. Repeat until all eggplants are cooked. (Remove cooked eggplant to a cool baking sheet, or plate)

Prepare meat filling:
Brown ground meat over medium high heat, add onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins. Drain fat. Add spices and herbs and tomato paste and canned tomatoes with liquid. Stir and cook for 10 mins.

Prepare potatoes:
Peel and slice 1/4" thick, boil for 5 mins (cooked but still very firm)

Assemble casserole:
In a lasagna pan or large casserole dish, brush pan with olive oil. Place one layer of potatoes if using, layer meat filling over, thinly. Place a layer of eggplant, slightly overlapping on top. Layer another thin meat layer. Place eggplant layer on top and continue, ending with eggplant. (only use one potato layer)

Mix yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, feta and parm. Spread on top of casserole. Bake in a 350 over for 45 mins, place under broiler for 2 mins or until golden brown - let sit for 10 mins and slice. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread.

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