Baked Eggplant and Spinach Moussaka, a Vegetarian Creation by Christine Datian

As you might recall, Christine Datian often has her recipes
published on The Armenian Kitchen website, and in other online publications such
as the Armenian Mirror Spectator, Sunset and Cooking Light magazines, and the
Fresno Bee Flavors Magazine.


She sent me her latest creation which features eggplant,
and since that’s been a ‘hot ingredient’ around here lately, I’m happy to pass
this recipe along to you.


Vegetable Moussaka (Image from www.epicureous.com)

As of this posting, this dish has not been tested in our
kitchen. Since a photo did not accompany her recipe, I found a suitable image from www.epicureous.com. 


Without further ado, I present Christine Datian’s …

Baked Eggplant and Spinach Moussaka
Yields 9 generous, or 12 smaller portions

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded or grated Parmesan, Jack, Mozzarella or
mizithra cheese
(or a combination)
2-3 eggs, beaten
Chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint, about 1/4 cup each
1 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black or white pepper
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon each crushed red pepper flakes and paprika
1/4 teaspoon allspice (or cinnamon)
2 medium onions or shallots, finely chopped
1 green or red bell pepper or 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and
diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 cups low sodium tomato sauce, marinara sauce, or tomato
puree
2 medium eggplants, washed, sliced about ¼” thick
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach (or kale), cleaned and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
Olive oil and unsalted butter
2 tablespoons each chopped walnuts and pine nuts
Garnishes: Greek yogurt, lebne,
or ricotta cheese, lemon zest and juice of one large lemon         
                   
Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
 1.      In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups of
cheese with the beaten eggs, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper
flakes, paprika and allspice (or cinnamon, if using); mix and set aside.
2.      Sauté the
onions, garlic, and bell pepper in a few tablespoons of olive oil until the
onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes.  
3.      Spread about
a half cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a buttered or oiled 

9″ X13″ baking dish.
4. Arrange the eggplant slices on top of the sauce, cutting
slices if necessary to fit spacing; repeat and alternate in layers with the
chopped spinach, sliced tomatoes, sautéed onion mixture, the eggplant, and the
remaining tomato sauce for all the eggplant slices. 
 5.      Pour the cheese and beaten egg mixture
evenly over the top of the moussaka, and spread with a knife; drizzle with a
little olive oil and top with some chopped walnuts and pine nuts.  Add a few dabs of butter on the top of the
moussaka, if desired.
6.      Bake,
uncovered, until the eggplant is tender, for about one hour.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes
before cutting into squares.  Serve the
moussaka warm or cold, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, lebne, or ricotta
cheese; sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest as garnish.

CHRISTINE’S NOTES:
*For the non-vegetarian, traditional version of this
moussaka, brown 1/2 pound of ground lamb (or ground beef) in a tablespoon or
two of unsalted butter, drain completely, and alternate the lamb in with the
layers of eggplant and vegetables, etc.
 *You can make assorted
sandwiches for lunch, dinner or picnics with leftover moussaka on Italian,
sourdough, pita bread, lavash, or flat bread, and serve with roasted peppers,
sliced cheeses, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, etc.



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1 Comment

  1. liza August 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    nice post

    Reply

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