by Chef Laura Frankel, ChefLaurasKosher.com
All right the dish is a bit of a potschke, but it is complexly flavored, amazingly delicious and satisfying. This do-ahead dish is perfect for lunch after synagogue or a weeknight supper.
For the sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, sliced thinly
3 zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes and their juices
3 red peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the eggplant:
3 large eggplants, cut into ½ thick slices lengthwise
2 cups potato starch, divided
6 egg whites
2 cups matzo meal
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
For the béchamel:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or onion (optional)
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 cups milk
Kosher Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
Make the sauce: Heat a large sauce pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until golden brown and very fragrant. Be sure to season the onions with salt and pepper.
Add the zucchini and continue cooking until the zucchini has softened and is light golden brown. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or until the garlic is very fragrant and is slightly softened.
Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Prepare the eggplant: Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and season each eggplant with salt and pepper.
Place 1 cup potato starch on a large sheet of parchment paper.
Place the remaining cup of potato starch and matzo meal on another sheet of parchment paper. Add the herbs to the potato starch and matzo meal mix.
Whisk the egg whites with 3 tablespoons of water and place the egg whites in a shallow large bowl.
Heat a large sauté pan. With 1 ½ inches of olive oil, over medium heat. Dredge a piece of eggplant in the potato starch, then the egg whites and finally the herbed matzo meal.
Place the eggplant in the sauté pan and cook on each side until brown and crispy. Transfer the eggplant slices to a paper towel lined sheet pan.
Prepare the béchamel: Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the shallot or onion, and cook, stirring, until softened, about three minutes.
Stir in flour, and cook, stirring, for about three minutes until smooth and bubbling but not browned. The paste should have the texture of wet sand.
Whisk in the milk all at once, and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while, until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn the heat to very low, and simmer, stirring often with a whisk and scraping the bottom and edges of the pan with a rubber spatula, for 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and lost its raw flour taste.
Season with salt and pepper. Strain while hot into a heatproof bowl.
Assemble the dish: Preheat oven to 350.
Place eggplant slices in the bottom of an 11 X 15−pan. Generously dollop 1/2 tomato sauce over the eggplant. Layer 1/2 of the béchamel sauce over the tomato sauce. Add 1 more layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and finally sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese has lightly browned.
Allow the Moussaka to sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Yields: Serves a crowd
Recipes: Passover, Casserole, Eggplant, Dairy, Kosher