This is hearty and wonderful Cooked bulgar lines the pan and is topped with thick slices of cooked eggplant. Next come bits of plump tomatoes and a fabulous bechamel sauce laced basil and nutmeg. Bake for 45 minutes and slice into eight servings.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups bulgur
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 1/2 cups peeled roma (plum) tomatoes
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a large saucepan, bring the water and the 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the bulgur, cover the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let the bulgur sit for 10 minutes.
Lay the eggplant slices on one or two lightly greased baking sheets. Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the eggplant has softened but is not browned. Remove the eggplant from the oven, and lower the temp to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
While the eggplant is baking, make the bechamel sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook it , stirring often for 1 minute. Add the flour, and stir constantly for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Sprinkle the basil, nutmeg, salt and pepper into the saucepan of bechamel sauce.
Spoon the bulgur into a 9x11 inch casserole dish, and pat the bulgur down well. Lay the eggplant slices on the bulgur, overlapping them in rows.
Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands to break them up, and spread the broken tomatoes and their juice over the eggplant.
When the bechamel sauce has cooled a bit whisk the egg into it. Pour the sauce over the tomatoes.
Bake the moussaka, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Slice it as you would lasagna, and serve.