Moussaka: Greek Eggplant Recipe, Vegetarian (Or Add Lamb)

Looking for great eggplant recipes? This Greek recipe for Moussaka is well-seasoned, and is good as a vegetarian dinner choice. Hummus adds protein; brown rice rounds it out. Typically, it also has lamb in it; add grilled, ground lamb in with the eggplant if desired.

To simplify, approach this recipe in steps. Hummus can be made ahead in big batches; portions freeze well.  Brown rice can also be cooked ahead in larger quantities and frozen for future dinners. The seasoned tomato sauce can also be prepared ahead of time.

Serve this dish hot; traditionally, it might be served cold too, as part of an appetizer platter. It can be made ahead and allowed to chill, as the flavors blend this way, and the layers set up. Serves 4 to 6.

Grateful-Table-Moussaka-Eggplant-Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 c. hummus (about a third of this recipe)
  • 4 c. cooked brown rice ( or 1 c. uncooked rice, plus 2 1/4 c. water)
  • 2-3 eggplants (approx. 3 lb.)
  • 3 c. Tomato Sauce (homemade tomato sauce recipe here)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¬†1/2 TBS. fennel seed, toasted, ground
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 lb. ricotta
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

 

PREPARATION

1. Set aside: > 3 c. hummus (about a third of this recipe)

2. Set aside: > 3-4 c. cooked brown rice

3. If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, prepare it as follows. Add to a pot: > 1 c. uncooked brown rice > 2 1/4 c. boiling water

4. Simmer the rice 40 minutes or so, with lid on, until tender. Set aside.

5. Saute in iron pan, on high heat for a few minutes, then reduced to a medium-low heat to finish cooking until tender: > 2 eggplants (approx. 2 1/2 lb.), cubed

6. Set cooked eggplant aside. Make the seasoned tomato sauce by mixing together: > 3 c. Tomato Sauce (recipe here) > 1/4 tsp. cinnamon > 1/2 TBS. fennel seed, toasted in dry pan, then crushed (or processed in a spice grinder) > 1 tsp. curry

7. Make and set aside White Sauce. For that, mix together in a sauce pan: > 1/2 c. olive oil > 1/2 c. flour

8. To that “roux”, add the milk slowly: > 2 c. milk (heated first by microwaving 2 minutes, to save time, if desired)

9. Bring the above to a boil, boiling 2 minutes. Then add the following, stirring until blended: > 1 lb. ricotta > 4 eggs > 1/2 tsp. salt

10. Finally, begin assembly. Oil bottom of 13×9″ pan. Add, pressing down well: > 4 c. cooked brown rice

11. Add the following ingredients, layering in this order: > 3 c. hummus > The cooked eggplant > The Seasoned Tomato Sauce > The White Sauce

12. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate to serve as an appetizer or for quick lunches.

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