This is a recipe from the book “Mama Now Cooks Like This: The best of Susan Mendelson.” I gave it to my Mom for Christmas, and she gave it to me, my sister, and my Gramma!
I made it for the first time the other night and I was really happy with the end product. I love the texture of cooked eggplant, the blend of spices was subtle but not bland, and like in any moussaka–the custard is the best part! Much richer than lasagna, it’s got that fancy feel perfect for a vegetarian dinner party!
-2 large eggplants (I only used 1 large eggplant)
-3 tbsp olive oil
Cut eggplants into 1/4-inch slices, salt both sides, brush with oil and broil until brown.
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1/2 cup chopped celery
-1/2 cup chopped green pepper
-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
-1/4 cup olive oil
-one 19-oz tin tomatoes (whole)
-one 5 1/2-oz tin tomato paste
-2 small carrots, grated
-1 tsp basil
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/4 tsp thyme
-2-3 dashes of hot pepper sauce
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
Combine ingredients and cook for 20 minutes. I started with vegetables (onions, celery, and mushrooms), sauteed them in the olive oil until they were soft, then added the spices, tomatoes and everything else.
-2 cups cottage cheese (I used ricotta cheese because I love it a lot!)
-pinch of nutmeg
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (I used more mozza cheese instead of buying 3 types of cheese! I’m sure the Gruyere would be great though!)
-2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
Grease a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.
Layer in prepared casserole dish in the following order: one-third of the tomato sauce, half of the eggplant, all of the custard, half of the cheese mixture, one-third of the tomato sauce, half of the eggplant, one-third of the tomato sauce and half of the cheese mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Makes about 8 servings.