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Rach shares a recipe for eggplant boats (aka papoutsakia, or "little shoes" in Greek) stuffed with the flavors of moussaka. You can use ground lamb or beef or plant-based beef (Rach likes Impossible).
For more Greek-inspired ideas, check out Rach's Greek Sheet Pan Chicken With Feta & Pepperoncini (our number 1 recipe of 2020!) and another twist—her Greek Sheet Pan Chicken with Tzatziki and Charred Pita.
- 4 small or 2 medium very firm, heavy eggplants
- Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) non-aerosol spray
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef, or one 12-ounce package plant-based beef (Rach likes Impossible)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon or smoked cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or sundried tomato paste
- 1 large fresh tomato, seeded and chopped, or one 14-ounce can cherry tomatoes, chopped, or 12 fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup bone broth or stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- About ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ to ¾ cup grated Kefalotyri, Parm or pecorino cheese
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint, to serve
Preheat oven to 425˚F with rack at center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Halve eggplants lengthwise and score the flesh of the eggplants with sharp paring knife, then crosshatch the flesh ½-inch crisscross, being mindful not to cut through the skin on opposite side. Salt the flesh and drain on towel 30 minutes, cut-side down. Flip up and spray with oil, then set cut-side back down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes, cool and scoop eggplant from shells and reserve.
Heat a medium-large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, add meat, break it up and lightly brown, add onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and spices. Add eggplant flesh, tomato paste, and fresh or canned tomatoes. Add stock and cook to soften and combine, 4 to 5 minutes.
For the white sauce, melt butter in a saucepot or deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat, whisk in flour and add milk. While it thickens, season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Add egg yolks to a dish and add some milk sauce, about ½ cup, while combining with small whisk or fork to temper, remove sauce from heat and add the egg yolks.
Fill the eggplant shells with meat and eggplant. Top with thick white sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake to bubbly brown, 5 minutes, then top with parsley and mint to serve.