Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am going to share with you how to make a healthy moussaka recipe ade with grilled vegetables with my cast iron pan!
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What is Moussaka?
"Moussaka is a layered oven casserole dish made with vegetables and meat. The most well-known version of moussaka is made with layers of eggplant slices, cheese, and a meat sauce, topped with a thick béchamel sauce; however, other favourites call for potatoes, zucchini, or a combination of vegetables.
More recently, a meatless (vegetarian) version has also become widely available.
Until the early 1900s, moussaka was a more simple dish, using just vegetables and meats. The addition of béchamel sauce is attributed to Nikos Tselementes, a Greek chef who trained in France, and this newer version quickly became a favourite in Greece." This the definition that Nancy Gaifyllia wrote on The spruce eats.
I first tasted moussaka in Romania and I immediately loved it as it is very similar to the classic Italian lasagna.
What is the difference between lasagna and moussaka?
Moussaka has grilled aubergines and boiled potatoes instead of pasta sheets and the white sauce that we call "besciamella" that we typically find in the classic lasagna, which makes moussaka a bit more summery.
The variation to the original recipe I did this time is to grill the potatoes as well as the aubergines. I know it sounds crazy but let me tell you: it was divine!
It gave the whole dish an extra smokey flavour, typical of Summer dinners in the garden that I adore.
It is a rather long dish to make for my usual recipe time, which is usually under 30 minutes, but to be fair it is absolutely worth it, I promise!
On the other hand, the procedure itself is easy if you have some homemade ragu' sauce ready (I have countless pots in the freezer that I needed to use asap).
That's what you need to do it:
1kg of ragout sauce
1 big aubergine
6 small potatoes (or 3 big ones)
150g of grated parmesan and cheddar
Cast iron grill pan or a big pan
Warm-up your grilling pan on the stove set over high heat.
Start peeling the potatoes and washing the aubergine, then slice them lengthwise. Remember that the aubergine will take only a few minutes to cook so you can slice them thick but try to slice the potatoes a bit thinner as they take more time.
Place them on the hot grilling pan until they will have the classic black stripes on both sides.
Drizzle an oven tray with some olive oil and then place the first layer of grilled aubergines' slices, then add some ragout sauce on top, making sure that is spread evenly.
After the first aubergine's layer, add the grilled potatoes (if you can restrain yourself from eating some while making it...I obviously couldn't), cover with some sauce again.
Repeat the process twice and then for the last layer, after you spread the ragout sauce, sprinkle generously with the grated cheeses.
Now pop the tray in the oven on the middle shelf at 200C for 30 minutes.
The result should be more or less like below:
Enjoy warm or cold with a glass of good red wine! It is possible to keep it in the fridge for a day but no more than that as the potatoes will turn soggy.
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Want more traditional recipes?
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