Moussaka is an eggplant dish from Greece and Turkey. In Greece, it is layered with ground lamb and served hot. In Turkey, the eggplant is stewed with lamb and served warm or at room temperature.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m making eggplant moussaka from Turkey. It contains ground meat of the same name – lol! For those of you who are vegetarian, simply omit the ground turkey. Bon appetit!
Prep time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)
1 medium eggplant
1 large tomato
extra virgin olive oil (to brush eggplant and tomato)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing the moussaka)
1/2 pound dark ground, organic turkey meat (or lamb)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium brown or white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes® (canned)
1 cup tomato purée
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Dash freshly-ground nutmeg
Grill the Eggplant & Tomato:
1. Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil; brush foil with olive oil and set aside.
2. Cut off and discard top and bottom of eggplant.
3. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices and place the on foil-lined baking sheet (previously oiled).
4. Cut the tomato in half and place it (cut-side up) alongside eggplant slices on baking sheet.
5. Brush the eggplant and tomato with olive oil; lightly sprinkle each with salt.
6. Place the baking sheet on a rack positioned 6 to 7 inches away from top broiler element inside oven.
7. Grill the tomato and eggplant for approximately 8 minutes or until eggplant has turned golden brown.
8. When eggplant has turned golden brown, wearing oven mitts, transfer the baking sheet to a counter.
9. Transfer the tomato pieces to a bowl to cool.
10. Turn the eggplant slices over; brush them with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
11. Grill the eggplant slices (on other side) for 6 to 8 minutes or until they have turned golden brown.
12. After eggplant is done, set the baking sheet to a counter; transfer eggplant slices to a plate to cool. Set aside.
Prepare the Moussaka:
1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet.
2. When the oil is hot (do not let it smoke), add the ground turkey (or lamb).
3. On medium-high heat, stir-fry the meat, constantly breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the garlic, onion and chopped peppers.
5. Cook the mixture on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. When onion is translucent, stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato purée.
7. Cook the moussaka for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato sauce has thickened.
8. After 4 to 5 minutes, stir in the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
9. Cook the moussaka for 5 to 6 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasonings.
10. Serve moussaka alongside one or more recipes from this website:
Hummus Heat with Pitas and Vegetables (see recipe index – Appetizers/Starters);
Persian Cucumber Salad (see recipe index – Salads);
Butternut Squash Risotto (see recipe index – Pastas, Rice & Legumes).
Text & Photograph © 2014 Nancy DeLucia Real