Sassy Moussaka with Cauliflower Parsnip Puree

By • March 30, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: It is snowing in Utah today (March 30) and something warm and spicy is needed. I've been reading Saveur for years and am often inspired by their articles to try new foods--especially foods with such history. After reading and hearing references about a dish like moussaka for so long, I finally summoned the courage to try it and to make it a bit healthier. I started with a recipe published in Saveur on Oct 2012 and it evolved quickly. Hope you like it! This dish consists of 4 parts, and each part can be made ahead and rewarmed at assembly.aseraina

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Serves 8-10

Cauliflower Parsnip Puree

  • 1 medium head cauliflower chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup small parsnips chopped unpeeled
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces mozzarella
  • salt to taste
  1. Roast chopped cauliflower and parsnips in oven at 400 degrees until they are tender and slightly browned. Remove and let cool.
  2. Puree cauliflower, parsnips, mozzarella, milk and salt until smooth and creamy in blender. Add additional milk a little at a time, if needed, to create a creamy texture that is not runny or lumpy. Set this aside and cover--reheat when you are ready to assemble the dish.

Moussaka

  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • zest of one lemon (with microplane)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts roasted
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 pounds ground beef or bison
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons ground vietnamese cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bullion
  • 26 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 medium eggplant cubed 1 inch pieces
  1. Melt butter in a skillet. Sprinkle panko over the butter and toast it until golden brown. Remove from heat and after it cools, toss with lemon zest, pine nuts, 1 tsp nutmeg and 1 tbsp parsley. Set aside.
  2. Toss cubed eggplant with 2 tbsp olive oil and roast in 400 degree oven until golden brown and tender.
  3. In another pan sauté onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef, cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, cloves, and garlic. Cook until beef is cooked through and browned.
  4. Add soy sauce, wine, beef broth, vegetable bullion, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer. Add remaining parsley just before serving.
  5. To assemble: Scoop apx 1 cup beef mixture into a bowl. Sprinkle with roasted eggplant. Top with a large scoop of warmed cauliflower parsnip puree. Sprinkle with panko mixture.

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