I’m back in freezing Sweden after a month long vacation in Thailand, visiting my parents in warm and amazing Bangkok. To survive the snow that just won’t stop coming down on us in Stockholm, I created a menu of comfort food for my first week back to have something warming to look forward to after work and it started with this spicy “moussaka”, that’s actually not a moussaka at all but more of a meat, cheese and eggplant tower. What ever you want to call it, it tastes great and it serves its purpose in the comfort food area!
500 g ground beef
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
1 eggplant, sliced in 1 cm round slices
4 hands of fresh baby spinach
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 piri piri chili (or 2 if you’re up for it!), also finely chopped
1 cube of vegetable stock
1 dl water if needed
1 tbs honey
½ tbs balsamic vinegar
Cherry tomatoes to oven roast
Olive oil for frying
salt & pepper
Set the oven to 200 degrees.
Slice the eggplant, place on the cutting board and add salt. Put a kitchen towel over them and add another cutting board on top of it.Leave for at least 10 minutes.
Chop the garlic, onion and chili. Fry gently in a large pan until the onion and garlic softens. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper, and fry until the meat is cooked.
Add the baby spinach and the cans of crushed tomato as well as the cube of vegetable stock. If needed, add some water.
Finish to taste with honey and balsamic vinegar. Let the sauce simmer until the eggplant and tomatoes are done.
Wash the salt off the eggplant and remove exess water. Put in an ovensafe dish and drizzle with olive oil, bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
Put the cherry tomatoes, still on the vine, in the oven when the eggplant is almost finished (after about 15 minutes), also drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
How to plate: Start with one slice of eggplant, add the sauce and a slice of feta cheese. Repeat and top with the oven baked cherry tomato.