(Greek Eggplant Lasagne)

Have you ever lost your passport? Have you ever lost your passport while in another country?? One of the scariest things that has ever happened to me was waking up in Greece, packing up and excited to go catch a flight in a couple hours and realizing I. HAD. NO. PASSPORT. My last night in Greece was a celebration that was just a little bit hazy. See, you generally don’t eat dinner there until around 11pm, and I was unaccustomed to keeping up (literally). I was pretty sleepy and the Ouzo was flowing, followed by a gorgeous moussaka that broke my brain. I was completely enamored with the dish, and the combination of flavors were unlike anything I had ever had in the US. The restaurant was tiny and dark and my passport was sitting in an even darker corner of the table, as it also used to be my wallet (oh the lessons we learn!). More Ouzo, delicate flaky baklava for dessert, and my friend paying evidently led to me forgetting every single document of importance, including the only money I had.

The restaurant didn’t open again until 6pm, and my flight was at 10am. Somehow, some higher power saw it fit for me to get out of the country, because my friend who spoke Greek was able to talk to people in the area and we met a-friend-of-a-cousin-of-a-neighbor-of-the-restaurant-owner who had human decency to not steal anything, and brought it all to my desperate self at the restaurant. Screaming through Greek traffic while so lost, shamefully being escorted past about 400 people in TSA, and being the last person to board the plane, somehow I ended up making it to Scotland that day, champagne (and more importantly, passport) in hand. I have never forgotten the dish that made me lose myself and my passport in Greece, and I have adapted the recipe here to work with common US ingredients, and be just a skosh healthier. I hope you enjoy!

Moussaka (Greek Eggplant Lasagne)

(serves 6)


  • 1.5 lb eggplant, sliced thin
  • Meat Filling:
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 lb fresh tomato, diced
    • 1 large sweet onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 oz tomato paste
    • ¾ cup dry red wine
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp oregano, preferably fresh and minced
    • 1 Tbsp Better than Bouillon-Beef
    • 1 Tbsp oil of your choice
  • Riff Bechamel:
    • ⅓ stick butter
    • ⅛ cup flour
    • 1 cup goat kefir (or milk, or whatever dairy you prefer)
    • 1 Tbsp Better than Bouillon-Beef
    • ½ cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
    • Sprinkling of fresh grated nutmeg, or ~½ tsp ground powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Gently salt the eggplant slices and let it sweat for ~45 minutes. I like to rinse the salt off after and lay it on paper towels to dry out in the fridge for a couple hours.

  2. To prepare the meat filling, saute the beef and onion in your oil of choice until golden brown, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for ~15 minutes on medium low heat, cooking off the wine. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and set aside.

  3. To prepare the riff bechamel, saute the flour and butter on medium heat, stirring the roux constantly until a light blonde color develops, smelling nutty.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the bechamel ingredients, stirring constantly until smooth.

  5. In a casserole dish line the bottom with half the sliced eggplant in a slightly overlapping pattern.

  6. Add the meat filling and top with the other half of the eggplant in the same pattern.

  7. Top with bechamel, and cook covered for 30 minutes at 350F.

  8. Uncover and top with breadcrumbs, cooking an additional 30 minutes until they are dark golden brown.

  9. Let the dish cool for at least ~15 minutes before slicing and serving because it is basically molten lava.