Moussaka is a dish that I had heard of, but never seen or eaten. I knew that it had it’s origins in Greece and other Mediterranian countries and I knew that it had to do with eggplant. That’s about it. The grocery store had a sale on eggplant recently and I was trying to figure out what to make with it. Then I remembered moussaka and started looking around for a recipe. One of the most common forms of moussaka is the one from Greece. It is made up of layers of eggplant, tomatoes, and ground meat topped with a creamy sauce. I looked around at a few other recipes and decided to lean more towards the Lebanese form of the dish and eliminated the creamy sauce and ground meat. You most certainly can add ground beef or turkey into this dish if you want and you can serve it over whatever grain you have on hand.
Moussaka Over Toasted Millet
- 1 large eggplant
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup millet
- 2 cups water
1. Slice the eggplant into large rounds. Lay out a single layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Place eggplant rounds on top of the paper towels and sprinkle with more sea salt. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant and let sit for about 15 minutes
2. While eggplant is sitting, preheat oven to 450 and put a large saute pan over medium high heat. Place the 1 cup of dried millet into the pan and toast until golden brown and fragrant. Move the toasted millet to a pot and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
3. Lightly brush eggplant off and cut into cubes. Place on a baking sheet and add a little olive oil and toss to coat. Roast the eggplant in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once edges are brown, remove from oven and lower heat to 350.
4. In the same large saute pan you used for millet, heat a little oil and saute the onion for a few minutes until it is soft. Add in garlic then stir in tomatoes, salt, and other spices. Add about a 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in eggplant. Take the moussaka and place it into a large casserole dish and cover with foil. Cook in oven for 15 minutes then remove foil and cook for 20 minutes. Serve over a bed of the cooked and toasted millet
I know it seems like this takes forever to make, but it actually goes pretty quickly. Plus, it doesn’t use that many ingredients and most of them you probably have on hand. This makes some excellent leftovers and you can even eat it cold the next day. If you wanted to add meat just make sure to brown it first before adding it with everything else. You could also add in extra vegetables like green pepper or zucchini and beans like chickpeas if you wanted. Enjoy!