Moussaka Stuffed Eggplant with Whipped Tahini
Ingredients for Moussaka:
- 2 small eggplants
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- Greek olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground, to taste
Ingredients for Whipped Tahini:
- 1/2 cup good quality tahini, stirred well
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup ice water
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. With the cut side facing up, make cuts into the flesh of the eggplant in a cross hatch pattern, being sure not to cut through the skin. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive olive.
- Place cut side down onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the flesh is soft.
- While the egg plant is cooking, make the moussaka filling. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add in the ground beef and break up into pieces using a wooden spoon. Allow the grown beef to cook, untouched, for 3 minutes and then stir and continue to cook until fully browned.
- To the cooked beef, stir in the chopped onions, garlic, dried oregano, cinnamon, and season with salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the tomato paste into the pan and stir to combine. Cook for a minute and then pour in the red wine.
- Allow the wine to cook until it's almost completely absorbed and then add in the crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine and then reduce heat to low and simmer.
- When the eggplants are soft to the touch, remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool for a minute. Carefully scoop out the flesh, being sure to keep the skin intact.
- Add the scooped out eggplant to the pan with the moussaka and stir to combine everything.
- While the moussaka finishes up cooking, make the whipped tahini. To the base of a food processor add in the tahini, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
- With the motor running, slowly stream in the ice water. Stop adding the water when the tahini has become light and fluffy, you may not use all of the water.
- To serve, spoon the cooked moussaka into the scooped out eggplant halves and top with whipped tahini.