- 2 eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 cauliflower head
- ¼ cup olive oil plus more for frying the eggplant slices
- 3-4 tomatoes, cut into thin slices
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- 3-4 mini bell peppers, thinly sliced
- For the meat sauce:
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1-pound crushed tomatoes in their juices (canned or fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
Place the eggplant slices on a tray and sprinkle the tops with some salt. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to draw out the bitter juices. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Cut the cauliflower in half then cut into ½ inch thick slices. Set the slices flat in the baking tray, drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides and roast for 20 minutes until tender.
To make the meat sauce: Combine the onion, garlic, and oil in a pot over medium-heat and cook until soft and golden. About 10-15 minutes. Smash the garlic with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and crushed tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir often and add 1 cup of water if it begins to dry up before the 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the chopped parsley and stir together until incorporated. Set aside.
Prepare the eggplant: Pat the eggplant slices dry. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add ¼ cup olive oil. Pan fry the slices 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender and golden. Drain on a tray lined with paper towels. Add more oil to the pan and fry the remaining slices. Alternatively, the eggplant slices can be placed on baking trays, brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper then baked in a 425 °F oven until tender.
Layer the Moussaka: Sprinkle the tops of the roasted cauliflower with grated parmesan cheese and top with eggplant slices then some more cheese. Pour all of the meat sauce on top and sprinkle with some more cheese. Top with tomato and bell pepper slices and any remaining eggplant slices. Brush the tops of the tomato slices with oil and season with some salt.
Bake uncovered in the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of tzatziki or sour cream on the side. Enjoy!