Moussaka

This is one of the most famous Greek dishes. It is also well known in Lebanon, Turkey, and the Arab world. It features eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes. This version is topped with Parmesan cheese. Satisfies the biggest hunger on cold winter nights.

INGREDIENTS:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 12-ounce eggplants, peeled, each cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 pound lean ground beef sirloin or ground round
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup plain dry white or panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

YIELD: Makes 8 servings.

COURSE: Casseroles and One Pots

CUISINE: Greek

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with olive oil spray. Arrange eggplant slices and half of zucchini rounds, y, on 1 baking sheet. Arrange potato rounds and remaining zucchini, on second baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil generously on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and beginning to brown, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
  2. Heat 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, adding a couple of tablespoons water if mixture seems dry, about 7 minutes. Stir in oregano. Add beef; sauté until brown, breaking up with back of spoon. Add tomatoes with their juices and tomato paste, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, eggs and cinnamon.
  3. Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup bread crumbs over bottom of the dish. Arrange potatoes in prepared dish. Spoon half of beef and tomato mixture over. Arrange eggplant slices over. Spoon remaining beef mixture over. Top with all of the zucchini.
  4. Make white sauce, or just grate some Parmesan cheese for topping. Pour White Sauce or cheese over moussaka. Bake until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.