Sally says that Moussaka “makes a wonderful buffet dish, and it is a welcome and healthier alternative to lasagna.” I love lasagna! And I love eggplant. So I knew I had to try this!
Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) is found on page 360-361 of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.
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- 8-10 large eggplants
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 pounds ground lamb
- 3 medium onions minced
- 8 ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped, or 2 cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 cup beef or lamb stock
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 cups grated cheddar or parmesan cheese
Since I was just preparing this for Pre-Hubs and I, I had to cut it down, but I wasn’t sure exactly by how much (by 1/6th? 1/9th?), so I just kind of eyeballed it.
But first, I had to prepare the eggplant. Sally says to chop the ends off the eggplant and peel, and then cut it into 3/8-inch slices. So, get out your ruler, line it up reeeally nicely with each piece, make a notch to mark where you will slice and — OMG — kidding. 3/8ths of an inch? LOL. (Sorry, Sal.) Just cut it into slices.
Take your sliced pieces and salt them, and let them sit for a while so they release their moisture. Sally says for a whole hour. I don’t think I made it quite that long.
Then, rinse off that salt really well and dry the eggplant. Place the slices on a cookie sheet brushed with olive oil and brush the tops of the eggplant generously with the oil as well. Let that broil in the oven until they’re lightly browned. Meanwhile, cook your ground lamb (or beef) until “crumbly.”
Now, start making your sauce. Add the onions, tomato, cinnamon, and stock. (By the way, whenever a recipe calls for stock, I just use whatever kind I have, and this time it was turkey stock. I don’t think it makes much of a difference!)
Season to taste and let it boil down uncovered until almost all the liquid has been reduced/evaporated.
Butter the baking pan. (For just us two, I like to use a glass bread pan!) Start layering — first eggplant…
…and lather, rinse, repeat. Sally wants you to use “at least three layers of eggplant — but four is better,” and also says, “Do not make the mistake of skimping on the eggplant — that is what gives this dish its distinctive character.” So don’t you dare skimp and do a mere two layers of eggplant! 😉
Now it’s cheese time. Sally says “sprinkle” but I say, pile it on. For dishes like this, I feel like it’s pretty hard to over-do it on the cheese.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour. And you’re done!
How’d it go?
Well, since I was kinda guesstimating how much of each ingredient to use (since I wasn’t feeding 18 people with my dish), I ended up having not as much of the tomato sauce as I would have liked. I’d definitely make more of that next time. But other than that, everything went okay.
How we liked it
We both thought this was pretty tasty! I do think that using lamb instead of beef would have made it better though. I mean, Sally was so particular about getting this casserole right, what with the correct number of eggplant layers and everything, I’m sure she specified lamb instead of just any ground meat, for a reason! Still, I thought it was good, and I plan on making it again sometime.
Have you ever made an eggplant casserole? What do you think of this moussaka dish?
Be sure to check out the other installments of 25 Days of Nourishing Traditions:
- Onion-Cranberry Compote
- Sweet Potato Puree
- Ginger Carrots
- Stuffed Peppers
- Turkey Stock
- Coconut Turkey Soup
- Carrots Vichy
- Breaded Whitefish