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
Roast chopped cauliflower and parsnips in oven at 400 degrees until they are tender and slightly browned. Remove and let cool.
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.
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.
Toss cubed eggplant with 2 tbsp olive oil and roast in 400 degree oven until golden brown and tender.
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.
Add soy sauce, wine, beef broth, vegetable bullion, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer. Add remaining parsley just before serving.
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.