Mock Moussaka

Course : Vegetables
Serves: 4
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3 pounds eggplant -- peeled and cut into thick slices
1 1/2 Pounds ground beef -- lamb, or turkey
1 Large onion -- chopped
3 Cloves garlic -- minced
---For the sauce:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Can crushed tomatoes -- (28 ounce)
1 Can tomato paste -- (6 ounce)
1/3 Cup chopped black or green olives (kalamata are delicious in this recipe)
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 Cup packed chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoons sugar
---For the topping:
2 Ounces feta cheese -- to your taste, crumbled (2 to 3)
3 Sprigs fresh dill -- chopped

Preparation / Directions:

To prepare the eggplant, salt both sides of each piece and place in a colander in a single layer for about 1 hour to drain. Rinse, pat dry, and set aside. Brown the beef in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Drain off the fat and liquid and remove the meat to a bowl or plate. Using the same skillet (you needn't thoroughly clean it), cook the onion and garlic, stirring, over medium heat until softened. To make the sauce, add the rest of the ingredients, except the feta cheese and dill, and simmer until hot and slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Layer in the slow cooker in this order: sauce, eggplant, beef, sauce, eggplant, beef, sauce. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and the dill on top of that. Cover, set on low, and cook for 7 to 9 hours or set on high and cook for 2 to 3 hours. A mess of moussaka, about three-quarters of a slow cooker full Moussaka is usually a very beautiful layered Greek dish. This recipe lets you enjoy all the flavor of moussaka without all of the wor

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