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  • Recipe
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This traditional Greek dish with lamb and eggplant is full of culinary techniques to help you become a better cook.


Yield: 6 servings


Active Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 40 minutes

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 large eggplant, (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • For the meat filling:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 small onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped
  • For the béchamel:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
      1. Lay the eggplant slices out on a sheet tray, and sprinkle them lightly with sea salt. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, until there are beads of moisture on the surface of the eggplant. Use paper towels to blot off the moisture.

      2. Preheat the oven to 350° and butter a large baking dish.

      3. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the ground lamb and cook, breaking it up with your spoon, until cooked through and golden brown. Add the onion and cook until lightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ground cinnamon, and cook an additional minute.

      4. Mix the crushed tomatoes, red wine and dried oregano. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is almost dry. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

      5. To prepare the béchamel, heat a saucepan over medium-low heat, and add the butter. Once the butter has melted add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.

      6. Gradually pour the milk into the roux while whisking until smooth. Bring the béchamel to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is nicely thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

      7. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat well. Once the béchamel is done, add a small amount of the sauce to the eggs to temper them. Return the egg mixture to the pan, whisk to combine and remove from the heat.

      8. Whisk half of the parmesan cheese into the sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

      9. To assemble the dish, arrange half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the ground lamb mixture over the eggplant.

      10. Top the lamb with the remaining eggplant slices, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

      11. Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover with foil and bake on a parchment-lined sheet tray for about 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

      12. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.