Aubergine and Cauliflower Moussaka

This offering is one of the very large family of dishes known collectively as Moussaka. The word comes from an Arabic term meaning chilled or cooled, and stems from the custom, in the Arab world, of eating these dishes when cool. In other places where they are also a traditional preparation, such as Turkey or Greece, they are eaten warm or even hot. I would suggest the latter for the recipe below, which is an adaptation of one by Fiona Smith and was published in Cuisine Magazine [Issue No 176 of May 2016, page 94]. Fiona very creatively used kumara in her recipe, but I have returned it to its Greek roots by using aubergine.

 

Ingredients.

¼ cup olive oil.

1 medium aubergine, sliced into 10mm slices.

250g lamb mince.

1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped.

Salt to taste.

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped.

½ tsp cinnamon.

1 tblsp rubbed origanum.

¼ cup chopped parsley.

½ cup tomato paste.

1 cup red wine.

3 cups cauliflower florets.

½ cup milk.

2 egg yolks.

25g butter.

150g grated cheese.

¼ tsp nutmeg.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

Method.

Heat the oil in a pan over a hot flame and fry the aubergine on both sides until golden. Remove and set aside. Add the meat to the pan and fry until well browned then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon, origanum and parsley and stir fry until the mixture is almost dry then stir in the tomato paste and the wine. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and saucy.

In a separate pot, bring the cauliflower to the boil in salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain well and add the milk, egg, butter, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beat together until a smooth paste is obtained.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover the base of an oven dish with one third of the aubergine. Cover that with half the meat mix, that with a second third of the aubergine, then the second half of the meat mix, then the final third of the aubergine. Top with the cauli béchamel and bake for 40 minutes. Rest, covered, for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Serve with: a crisp green salad.

 

Serves: 2.

%d bloggers like this: