Lebanese moussaka

  This is a divine recipe that I've learned from my mother-in-law who is an amazing, tireless cook! She could cook all day every day and make the most delicious food you can't say no to! So, I pay attention and learn! As usual, I had to add my own twist and, in this case, I kept the list of ingredients the same, I have only modified the method of preparation: instead of frying the potatoes, eggplants and onions, I boil the potatoes and roast the eggplants and onions. This does not affect the flavor any little bit, it only lightens up the dish and simplifies the cooking (and cleaning!) process. 

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

- 2 medium size eggplants, diced
- 3-4 large potatoes
- 2 large onions, julienned not too thinly
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can 800 ml diced tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes, sliced into rounds)
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper

  In a large bowl, place the diced eggplants and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, toss to coat well. Place eggplants on a baking sheet and roast at 375 F, stirring once or twice during cooking time. In the same bowl, add the julienned onions and add a little bit more evoo, toss to coat, then place onions on a separate baking sheet and bake next to the eggplants. A little note - onions should be ready first. There are two ways you could boil the potatoes: the classic way - skin on, then peeled and cut into 1cm thick rounds, or the faster way ( which I always choose) - bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil, peel the potatoes and slice them into rounds and, using a slotted spoon, add the potatoes to the boiling water. Boil for about 4-5 minutes or until a fork pierces quite easily. Do not overcook as they will fall apart. Drain potatoes and reserve. In a heavy bottom pan equipped with a cover, prepare your layers: drizzle some evoo and arrange the potatoes in a nice layer (if you want, you could double up this layer as I did), sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, add a layer of eggplants and garlic, give it another sprinkle of salt and pepper, add the chickpeas evenly, cover with the tomatoes and finish with the onions, seasoning it, again with salt and pepper. Drizzle with evoo and cook, on low heat, for about 30 minutes. Serve it warm on a bed of Ralurabic rice, or cold with pita bread and olives. It tastes amazing the next day! Sahtein!

Drizzle some evoo in the pan and create a nice layer of potatoes, season with salt and pepper.

Add the eggplants on top of the potatoes, sprinkle the garlic evenly and season again with salt and pepper.

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