Baked eggplant is layered with a spinach-packed meat sauce, béchamel and feta cheese in this Greek-meets-Italian classic.
This was probably the most work any of the Blue Apron meals have taken so far, and while I liked it, I wasn’t blown away. I think that the orange zest worked in the meat sauce, but didn’t care much for the pieces of orange within it. I think it overwhelmed the other flavors. Dino really dug it though! And it was definitely comfort food, perfect for the cool weather we’ve been having here in New York.
The sweetness of the raisins works really well with the spinach. Those warm little bites of sweetness were great throughout this dish.
One more note – I only used about 1/3 of the package of pasta. Maybe I’ll make a version of this without the orange to use up the rest!
Moussaka-Style Lasagna with Eggplant & Spinach
Makes: 2 Servings
Calories: About 700 Per Serving
8 Ounces Ground Beef
9 Ounces Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles
1 15-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Cup Low-Fat Milk
4 Ounces Baby Spinach
1 Yellow Onion
2 Tablespoons Golden Raisins
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoon Moussaka Spice Blend (Dried Greek Oregano, Ground Coriander, Sumac, Ground Cinnamon & Aleppo Pepper)
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1. Prepare the ingredients:
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stem off the eggplant; cut the eggplant into ¼-inch-thick slices. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the orange, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Cut off and discard the remaining peel and pith of the orange. Cut out the segments (or supremes) from between the membranes; place the supremes in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the supremes. Peel and small dice the onion.
2. Roast the eggplant:
Place the eggplant slices on a sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat and arrange in a single, even layer. Roast 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender and browned. Remove from the oven.
3. Start the meat sauce:
While the eggplant roasts, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a bowl, leaving any drippings in the pot.
4. Finish the meat sauce:
Add the onion to the pot of drippings. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the spice blend and all but a pinch of the orange zest; cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, raisins and cooked beef. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until reduced. Remove from heat; stir in the spinach and orange supremes and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Make the béchamel sauce:
While the meat sauce simmers, in a separate, medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Whisk in the flour and remaining orange zest. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown and fragrant. Slowly whisk in the milk and 1/4 cup of water until no lumps remain. Cook, whisking frequently, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
6. Assemble & bake the lasagna:
Spread a thin layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish. Evenly distribute a layer of eggplant on top of the sauce. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread with a layer of béchamel sauce. Repeat layering until the dish is filled. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Cover the lasagna with an oiled sheet of foil. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until hot. Remove the foil and bake 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Big Flavors Rating: 3 Stars