With eggplants being plentiful right now it is the perfect time to add a little Greek flare in to your menu with some Moussaka! I looked up some recipes and they seemed a bit daunting for a Monday night, then I stumbled across this quick skillet version in an old issue of Eating Well magazine. When paired with a fresh Greek-esque salad it was a delicious, easy, all local summer meal!
2 medium size eggplants halved and sliced
1 bell pepper coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb beef
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup asiago cheese
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1. Cook beef over medium heat in a skillet. I used grass fed beef from Cleaver and Co. (when using grass fed beef make sure to note it cooks much faster and you should use a lower temperature than you would usually use) Cook meat until no longer pink then transfer to strainer to drain. Leave a little bit of the liquid from the meat in the pan to cook vegetables in.
2. Add onion, garlic, peppers, and eggplant to the pan and cook over medium heat until eggplant is soft. While the vegetables are cooking crush tomatoes in to a large bowl (see method below). Combine cooked beef, tomatoes, and yogurt in bowl.
3. Once vegetables are soft add beef mixture in to pan, cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Fold in cheese and remove from heat once melted.
To turn fresh tomatoes in to crushed tomatoes simply run them along a cheese grater in to a bowl. I find that this gives the tomatoes a better texture than when you process them.
Traditional moussaka calls for mozzarella cheese. I had asiago and feta on hand so I decided to use that. It gave the dish a really nice sharpness. All dairy products used in this recipe are from Ryals dairy http://www.rockingrdairy.com/ Check them out, their products are fantastic!
*To make this a vegetarian version simply replace beef with 3 cups of chopped mushroom and add 4 tbsp oil to step one of cooking and reduce the crushed tomatoes to 1/2 cup.