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Monday
Feb132012

Moussaka with Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini (Aubergine and Courgette)

The Greek version of lasagne – the outstanding flavours are cinnamon scented lamb layered with eggplant topped with a béchamel sauce. I have included a green here for one pot cooking, with a layer of zucchini on the bottom. I also like to add a spinach layer under the béchamel if I have some – all native Greek ingredients.
Is a labour of love to make, but as it can be done in advance it is a super party main where all you need to do is reheat it in the oven and relax with your guests.

Pictured: Moussaka with Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini (Aubergine and Courgette)

Meat Sauce
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
Extra light Olive oil
1kg minced lamb
Sprigs of oregano and thyme
A splash of white wine
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes

3 large eggplant/aubergine, sliced for grilling
3 large or 5 medium zucchini, slice lengthways for grilling
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
Small bunch spinach, washed and sliced - cooked in a little oil and garlic, with a touch of sherry – if short on time use garlic oil ( I like the Australian Pukara brand)
Béchamel Sauce – see Mushroom Moussaka recipe

In a casserole pot, gently fry the onion and garlic in the extra light olive oil, til soft.
In 4 batches, brown the lamb in a separate pan – do not stir straight away once a batch is in the pan, let brown well first, as the liquid will come out if you stir too much and stew the lamb instead.
Once onion soft, add the lamb to the casserole pot.
Deglaze the pan used for frying the lamb with a splash of white wine and add this and all the remaining juices to the casserole pot.
Add the spices and bay leaves and fry off a little, stirring.
Once the fragrance has been released after a few minutes, add some sea salt and ground pepper.
Add the tomatoes- rinse the cans out with water, half filled, and add this to the pot as well.
Let this sauce simmer gently, stirring now and then, for 1 hour.

In meantime, grill the eggplant and zucchini under a hot grill – gently toss in some oil and season before grilling. I like to add some more fresh oregano and thyme to the vegetables too.

In a lasagne dish, oil the bottom of the pan, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over, layer the zucchini to cover the bottom. Layer half the lamb mix on top of the zucchini, then layer the eggplant on top followed by the other half of the lamb. Add the layer of spinach.
Spread the béchamel sauce over the very top, sprinkle with parmesan and breadcrumbs and dot with butter, season.

Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for one hour, until bubbling and golden.

Serves 6