Paleo(ish) because there’s dairy in this dish. And I know there are some of you out there that do not include milk in your diets but a lot of you do! After my whole30, I slowly started incorporating dairy back and found I have no problems with it – on the surface anyway 😛 I try and keep it to a minimum but the dairy I do use is always organic and pastured. On to the moussaka… As a kid I really used to hate eggplant. My mom used to make this spicy curried eggplant dish (which I adore now!) and I just hated the slimy blobby texture of it. She made the mistake of forcing me to eat it and of course, I instantly had an aversion to eggplant for years. What a shame because I was clearly missing out! It’s funny how we let those childhood tastes follow us into our adult lives… So I tried out this moussaka recipe that I stole from Mark’s Daily Apple and tweaked a little and hooo boy is it good.
Rich beef (or lamb if you like!), warm melty eggplant all fusing together with a thick yogurty topping. I’ve got pictures from two separate occasions – once I made it into a pie and once in a standard rectangular casserole dish. You really have to be careful to use a pan deep enough because the egg/yogurt topping puffs up quite a bit but not too wide because when I made it as a pie, the topping was spread a bit thin. Mark recommends a 2 quart square baking dish.
Don’t get me wrong, it was still good as a pie… tasty tasty meat pie… mmm.
But as you can see here in Exhibit C, the topping was much thicker and made the moussaka more enjoyable.
I also added some zucchini that I had kicking around in the fridge the second time – if you like zucchini, go for it! I forgot I get sick of the taste quite easily so I think next time I’ll just stick to the egg plant.
- 1lb ground meat
- 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 28 ounces/800g crushed tomato (tomato paste works okay as well)
- 1 onion, diced fine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t all spice
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/8 t nutmeg
- 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 3 eggs
- oil/butter/fat of choice for sauteing
- Optional: Parmesan/feta
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Salt the eggplant slices to draw out water and put them aside on some paper towel.
- In a hot skillet, saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the ground meat and saute for another couple minutes. Add cinnamon and all spice. The meat should be brown throughout.
- Once you have thoroughly cooked your meat, add the tomatoes and dill. Your kitchen should be smelling preeeeetty good by now!
- Set the meat aside and work on those eggplants! Now you can choose to skip this step, I did one of the times I made my moussaka and found it tasted just fine but of course the dish will be richer if you fry the eggplant slices. So fry em! they should be lightly brown and nice and soft.
- In your baking dish, layer the eggplant and then the meat. Slap on the rest of the eggplant over top.
7. In a separate bowl, whisk Greek yogurt, eggs, and nutmeg. Finally, pour the yogurt mixture over top of the whole thing and if you so choose, top with cheese! (It’s delicious with some feta melted on top)
8. Bake for about 45 minutes, the top should be set and lightly golden brown. Let it cool for 20 minutes, cut, serve and enjoy!