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Why Your Moussaka Should be Meat-Free

Maggie Borden

January 08, 2018


Photo: Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton

Although most of us think of the Greek béchamel-topped meaty main, the word moussaka actually refers to a wide variety of eggplant-based dishes eaten across the Mediterranean, Middle East, and the Balkans. In Lebanon, it’s typically made sans meat, instead based around eggplant, tomatoes, and chickpeas, and served cold or at room temperature. Salma Hage takes it one step further with this vegan and gluten-free version from her 2017 Vegetable Cooking Book Award winner, The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook. Hage combines crispy, spice-dusted rounds of eggplant and creamy chickpeas with a homemade earthy and sweet tomato sauce in a layered casserole lighter than its Greek cousin, but just as satisfying. Expand your eggplant horizons and get the recipe.

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Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.