Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Advanced
1 globe eggplant (about 7 inches long), peeled (about 1 pound)
Olive oil cooking spray
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup minced onions
8 ounces ground lamb
½ cup cooked lentils
½ cup tomato sauce
1-2 tablespoons minced parsley
For the béchamel sauce:
2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted sweet butter
1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half or milk (full fat, low fat or nonfat)
Optional: 1 egg, beaten, ¼ cup grated gruyère or Swiss cheese
Garnish: Finely chopped parsley, or parsley sprigs
- Slice the eggplant into rounds about a quarter-inch thick. Lightly oil or spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Spread the eggplant slices on the sheet and brush slices with oil, or spray lightly with the cooking spray. Carefully broil eggplant slices until lightly browned, then flip them over and broil second side. Remove immediately from the oven and allow to cool, then chop eggplant into small pieces.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in pan and sauté onions over low to medium heat until they are almost clear. Add mushrooms and cook for two minutes, stirring often. Add the lamb and cook until browned and no longer pink. Add the eggplant, lentils and tomato sauce and cook for about one minute.
- To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter over low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Using a whisk or fork, mix in the flour. Cook for one minute. Slowly pour in the cream or milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes, or until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. If using the egg, stir it in now and cook for another minute. Add cheese and stir until it melts into the sauce. Remove from heat. is smooth and slightly thickened. If using the egg, stir it in now and cook for another minute. Add cheese and stir until it melts into the sauce. Remove from heat. To assemble, spray or oil a shallow 9-inch baking dish. Spread the lamb-eggplant mixture over the bottom. Pour the béchamel sauce over the lamb mixture. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes until cheese sauce is beginning to brown and bubble. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or parsley sprigs.
|Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)|
Total fat: 18g
Saturated fat: 9g
Dietary fiber: 3g
Moussaka is the shepherd’s pie of Greece and Turkey. The succulent combination of eggplant, lamb and rich cheese sauce is irresistible and well worth the three-step preparation.
Moussaka can be prepared earlier in the day (or the day before) for final cooking in the oven. For our version of this recipe, the eggplant is not fried, and we use a smaller quantity of ground lamb mixed with lentils in place of the traditional minced lamb. For a meatless version of the moussaka, substitute more lentils, eggplant and/or mushrooms. Serve the moussaka with a green vegetable such as Lemony Green Beans or a leafy green salad. Be prepared for many compliments from your family or guests.