Moussaka (vegetarian eggplant and cheese)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds (about 4) eggplant, stems removed
2 teaspoons Salt
¼ cup Corn oil
4 \N Cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup Tomato sauce
6 ounces Tomato paste
1½ cup Water
2 \N Eggs, beaten
½ pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated

This Jewish-style moussaka does not have meat since the kosher laws prohibit mixing meat and milk together. The result is a complete vegetarian dish with considerable dimension.

1. Cut each eggplant lengthwise into 3 equal slices. Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for 20 minutes, Dry the slices on paper towels to absorb the liquid that accumulates. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan and stir-fry the garlic over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water and mix well. Simmer the sauce over low heat until it becomes thickened, about 15 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten eggs and fry over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Fry all the eggplant slices this way.

4. Assemble the moussaka in this manner. Put a layer of eggplant in a heatproof glass or metal baking dish. Cover with about ½ cup of the cooked tomato sauce. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Cover this another layer of eggplant, then sauce, then cheese. The last layer (there should be three) ends with the cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for ½ hour.

Serve warm. Serves 6 with spaghetti or other dishes.

Recipe: "Sephardic Cooking" by Copeland Mark -- 600 Recipes Created in : Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India -- Copyright : 1992 Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, N.Y.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini

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