Last night I made an involved Greek Moussaka, implying much preparation. It was absolutely worth it; it is just eggplant, lamb mince and white sauce on top but the melange of flavours makes for one of the western world’s great dishes. There are many recipes just for the Greek version but the number truly expands when you consider that the Balkans, in general, have their own version. For instance the Romanian version uses sliced potatoes rather than eggplant; I will try it one of these days.
The recipe that I used came from a very old cookbook, so old it was a wedding gift, called “Greek Cooking For The Gods” by Eva Zane. Her recipe is pretty standard: from the bottom, eggplant (cut length-wise after being peeled), lamb mince fried with garlic and onion, another layer of eggplant, topped with bechamel sauce and sprinkled with grated cheese. Baked at 175 Celsius for an hour. The flavouring seems pretty standard: garlic, cinnamon, fine herbs, parsley, nutmeg.
I served this moussaka with a salad of cucumber pieces, kalamata olives, tomato pieces and crumbled feta cheese and dressed with olive oil. Our beverage was one of those Greek wines I ordered two weeks ago: an ’07 Agiorgitiko. It was a delicious wine and accompanied the richness of the moussaka perfectly!