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Moussaka With Eggplant and Peppers and Yogurt Béchamel

Yield 8 servings
This is an ideal dish for entertaining. Assemble it up to four hours ahead, then pop it in the oven when your guests arrive. Serve with a salad of mixed greens.


  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton plain low-fat yogurt
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 large green bell peppers
  • 1 pound peeled baking potato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped peeled tomato (about 1 pound)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or dash of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese or Romano cheese
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 2 large egg yolks

Nutrition Information

  • calories 434
  • caloriesfromfat 36 %
  • fat 17.4 g
  • satfat 6.4 g
  • monofat 7.7 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 27.4 g
  • carbohydrate 43.8 g
  • fiber 4.9 g
  • cholesterol 115 mg
  • iron 2.9 mg
  • sodium 514 mg
  • calcium 384 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place eggplant in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse and drain; pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a rubber spatula; cover and refrigerate.

  3. Preheat broiler.

  4. Place half the eggplant slices on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with the remaining eggplant.

  5. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a broiler pan; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel.

  6. Place the potato slices on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 7 minutes per side or until golden on both sides.

  7. Arrange potato slices in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with eggplant slices. Arrange bell pepper halves over eggplant.

  8. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well; return to pan. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and next 5 ingredients (tomato through cinnamon stick); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; discard cinnamon stick. Spoon over bell pepper halves.

  9. Preheat oven to 400°.

  10. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine the olive oil and flour in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the drained yogurt and milk. Add the yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring continuously; cook until thick (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, dash of nutmeg, and egg yolks.

  11. Spoon the sauce over the lamb mixture; spreading carefully, run a knife around outside edge to allow sauce to run into dish (dish will be very full). Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 20 minutes.