This one has a great deal of flexibility and comes from Donna Hay. We made a vegetarian version for New Year’s but it can be modified. Like any moussaka, the Béchamel Sauce is both simple and key. Playing around with your herbs and seasoning is also going to make sure it has a flavor that will make you make it again.
For this you’ll need: x1 large eggplant (cut in 1/4″ slices), 1-1/2 red onion (chopped), 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1 lb small “pee-wee” potatoes, 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk, salt, pepper, fresh oregano (chopped), fresh sage (chopped), olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Toss the cherry tomatoes (whole or cut in half) in a large bowl and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking tray and place them into a preheated oven. Roast for about 15-20 mins until soft and just browning. Remove from over and set aside.
Place a large cast iron (or other oven ready pan) over medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Once it is shimmering, add your eggplant slices, one batch at a time, browning each side before flipping over (approx 5-8 mins each side). Add oil if you need to and place them on a separate plate before continuing on to your next batch.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the whole, unpeeled pee wee potatoes. Boil, uncovered, for 15 mins and then drain and set aside.
To make the Béchamel Sauce, melt the butter in a small pot and add in the flour once melted. Then, over low heat, whisk in the milk just a little bit (1/2-1 Tbsp) at a time. The sauce will start to thicken. Pay attention as you want the consistency to be thick enough but not too thick that is just becomes a paste. It should look like a Greek yogurt but be slightly pourable.
Add another good glug of olive oil into the same cast iron skillet you cooked the eggplant in. Place the boiled potatoes into the oil and gently smash them with the back of a wooden spoon or the side of a large knife so that they spread out across the bottom of the pan but they are not mashed. Add in good grindings of salt, pepper and a handful of chopped, fresh oregano and sage. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are beginning to brown on one side, 3-5 mins. Toss them or turn them over and cook on the other side – again seasoning them with salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are browned on both sides, spoon the roasted tomatoes and onion over the top. Add about 1/2 of the Béchamel Sauce and another good dose of salt, pepper and some more herbs. Top this with the grilled eggplant slices and add the remaining Béchamel Sauce over the top.
Place the whole thing under the broiler for about 3-5 mins until browned. Top off with just a little bit of oregano and sage and serve.