Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 | Source: Svetlana Orel for


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
    Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 shallot onion


Cook rice until about half ready, about 10 minutes.
Cut eggplants into 1 cm rounds, salt liberally. Let sweat for 20 minutes. Wash off the salt. Cook the eggplant: roast, fry or nuke in the microwave for 10 minutes. Lay aside.
Dice the onion. Cook in with a bit of oil until translucent. Add minced garlic. Cook for one more minute. Add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Lay aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.

Prepare the bechamel sauce:
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Mixing constantly, add 1 tbsp flour. Keep cooking and mixing until it turns golden and smells nutty. Meanwhile prepare the onion: stick the cloves in it. Pour milk into the flour-butter mixture (called roux). While on slow heat, mix well until no longer lumpy. Add the onion. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Going back to moussaka.
Butter a deep and wide baking dish. Layer rice, tomato-meat mixture, eggplant. Top with bechamel sauce.

Place the baking dish in the hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve hot. It gets even better on the second day.