Saturday, March 2, 2013

eggplant for dinner

I was inspired by evening reading of the lovely Jerusalem to toss a couple of eggplants in my grocery cart during my last food shop. I had grandiose ideas of making a lovely burnt eggplant something, but when push came to shove, I ended up going with something more familiar to me. A tomato less moussaka inspired cassserole. Again. But this version was delicious.

I cut the eggplant lengthwise and roasted them in the oven. The potatoes were also roasted. The zucchini didn't fit on the roasting trays as they were full of eggplant and potato slices so I decided to cook them with the ground lamb and it worked well. I hemmed and hawed quite a bit over the sauce due to my husband's recent stomach issues and in the end went with a regular white sauce beefed up with some feta and parmesan. Melded together in a casserole dish and broiled in the oven, it turned out so delicious, we tussled over who got to have the leftovers for lunch.

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole (inspired by moussaka)
2 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise (1/2" slices)
6 medium potatoes, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced into half moons
grated fresh nutmeg, salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
350 ml milk
40 g feta, crumbled
30 g grated parmesan plus extra for topping

Roast the eggplant and potato on oiled baking sheets in single layers, in a hot 425 deg F oven until browned.

Meanwhile, saute the onions and ground lamb until the onions are tender. Add in the zucchini and cook until the lamb is browned, the onions are cooked and the zucchini are starting to brown.

In another saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour and then whisk in the milk. Stir until smooth and let cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add in the cheeses and stir until well mixed.

In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer the eggplant slices over the bottom of the dish. Evenly layer the meat/zucchini mixture over the top. Layer the potato slices evenly over the meat. Pour the sauce over the top as evenly as possible. Top with grated parmesan. Bake in an oven, on the middle shelf, where the broiler has been turned on. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the top is browned and serve.

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