As a child I never liked aubergines—I always made it a point to pick them out whenever I was served a dish with them in it. My views changed, however, while the hubby and I were on a trip in Greece in 2004 😋
Traditional Greek moussaka with aubergines
50 ml olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
500 g ground meat
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 laurel leaf
2 tbsp oil (for frying)
250 ml Bechamel sauce (see recipe below)
25-40 g parmesan cheese, grated
- Wash and trim the aubergines; slice and let them soak in salted water for about an hour (to remove the bitter taste).
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pot. Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions turn glassy.
- Add the ground meat and sauté for another 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, laurel, salt and pepper, and let simmer for about an hour.
- Drain the aubergine slices; coat them in flour and fry in very hot oil.
- In a pan, alternate layers of aubergine slices and ground meat mixture (begin with the aubergines; end with the meat mixture).
- Lastly, pour the Bechamel sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 225°C
50 ml flour
100 ml milk, warmed
50 ml oil (sunflower or rap seed will do)
50 ml kefalotyri or parmesan cheese, grated
- Heat the oil in a small pot. Stir in the flour and heat for a further 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the warmed milk, whisking constantly.
- Beat the eggs separately. Add them, one at a time, stirring until they are well incorporated into the mixture.
- Season with salt, pepper and the grated nutmeg.
- Finally, add the grated cheese and let the mixture cook until the cheese has melted into the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a more milk a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.