Yesterday, we spent the day in the house waiting for Hurricane Sandy to hit. After losing electricity for about an hour, I began trying to do as much as possible before we could possibly lose power again.
I went into the basement to check the water situation and opened the refrigerator door to our spare "frig". There were two eggplants which were heading towards rotten on the top shelve. Oh, yeah, I thought, I was supposed to make a moussaka with those. It completely slipped my mind. I grabbed them and brought them upstairs to see if they were salvageable.
A quick slice down the center of the eggplants and they looked fine. I set the oven to 400 degrees and grabbed a small baking sheet. I am going to roast the eggplant and find a moussaka recipe. Not just any moussaka recipe, a lebanese moussaka recipe with chickpeas. I wanted to create something like the dish we had at The Pita Spot in Mystic (see our last story on The Pita Spot). I put a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet and placed the eggplant halves flesh down. I brushed the skins with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and then scored the skin of the eggplant. I put them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and took them out when the eggplant flesh was soft and then let them cool for about 30 minutes.
I googled moussaka with chickpeas and found this recipe called Aubergine and Chick Pea Stew with Pomegranate. It had what I was looking for...roasted eggplant, tomatoes and chick peas, along with pomegranate molasses, which I actually have!
As I was making this recipe, I didn't follow the instructions correctly and ended up putting in a few things of my own, such as onions and oregano. Since the roasted eggplant was ready and the rest was in cans, ready to go, this dish came together in about 15 minutes.
This was really delicious. Scooping the moussaka with the pita chips was heavenly. There was a nice roasted eggplant flavor balanced with the acidity of the tomatoes and lemon juice. Jeff and I proceeded to eat through two dishes with the closing words being, "I hope you saved this recipe because we need to use this as an appetizer for our next gathering."
Yes, it was that GOOD.
Lebanese Moussaka with Chick Peas Recipe
2 medium sized eggplants, roasted (scoop the flesh from the skins and loosely chop)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of yellow onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1- 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, I use Fire Grilled.
1- 15 ounce can of chick peas, rinsed
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of dried basil
A pinch of oregano
1 tablespoon of lemon
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional)
1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley
1 bag of your favorite Pita Chips
1. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large saute pan. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and garlic, stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley and cook until the mixture starts to boil.
3. Remove from heat, add the parsley and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with pita chips.