Moussaka (version II)

(2 votes)

2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
14-ounce can pureed or crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
"Custard" topping:
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
10 ounces silken or soft tofu
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fine whole-grain bread crumbs
1 cup grated mild white cheese, such as mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Wash the eggplants, trim the stems, and slice crosswise into l/4-inch-thick slices. Line a baking sheet or two, as needed with foil. Oil lightly and sprinkle with water. Arrange the eggplant slices on the sheets so that they're slightly overlapping, and cover with foil. Bake until easily pierced with a fork but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over moderate heat until golden. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomato puree and herbs, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Combine the cottage cheese, tofu, and Parmesan cheese in the container of a food processor. Process until completely smooth.

Oil a wide 2-quart casserole dish. Layer the casserole as follows: first, half of the bread crumbs, then half of the tomato mixture, then the eggplant slices in one or two overlapping layers, then the remaining tomato mixture, then the remaining crumbs. Finally, spread the "custard" over the top, evenly and gently, using a cake spatula, and finish with the grated cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is touched with light-brown spots. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve.

Serves: 6 to 8

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