This is a guest post by Jane Geogiades, a wife and mom who is passionate about celebrating food and creating dishes that bring friends and family together. Jane is the creator of Milly, Molly and Me, a blog which focuses on rustic meals that are made with fresh ingredients.


My Father-in-Law’s Moussaka

In our house, Mediterranean food makes a regular appearance. One of our family’s absolute favorite dishes is my father-in-law’s secret Moussaka recipe. The problem is, the prep takes hours in the kitchen…

Let’s be honest, no matter how delicious, as busy women we don’t have time to spend hours preparing a meal.

This Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Bake is the answer to producing a delicious Mediterranean meal in VERY little time.

This recipe allows me to produce the rich flavors of roasted eggplant and tomato from my father-in-law’s dish, in a fraction of the time. Both sauces can be cooked down on the stovetop while the eggplant is roasting, and the entire thing takes under 10 minutes to assemble. Then, it’s off to the oven until the top is golden. Because the preparation is relatively simple and most of the cooking is done in the oven, I have free time to pack lunches for the next day, clean up any dirty dishes around the kitchen and catch up around the house.

Thank You, Aldi’s!

The canned cherry tomatoes are a godsend! I found them at Aldi’s (but have also found them at other major supermarkets) and now they are part of my weekly shopping list. They have the taste of the ripe juicy flavor of fresh cherry tomatoes but are conveniently canned.

If you can’t find canned cherry tomatoes, that’s okay! Use a jar of your favorite thick and chunky tomato sauce or cook down fresh cherry tomatoes into a purée instead.

Effortless Meal Prep + All-Round Satisfaction

The biggest win for me is that my youngest daughter (who previously shunned eggplant) now happily eats eggplant without a complaint. There’s nothing more exciting than finding a meal the whole family (picky eaters included) can enjoy!

It can double as a side dish.

This Eggplant and Tomato Bake is so versatile, we’ve even made it as the side dish on occasion.

The health benefits of eggplant and tomatoes are a win-win for everyone.

Eggplants and tomatoes have been part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries and there’s countless reasons why. Both are rich in vitamins and fiber, which studies have shown are great for heart health and keeping your cholesterol levels low. In addition, the antioxidants in these veggies can assist in keeping your blood sugar levels under control. Because this meal includes healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, the lycopene found in tomatoes (which is useful in reducing cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke) is more readily absorbed.

The health benefits seem endless. I could go into more detail but I won’t bore you with all that. You can already see why this dish makes a great addition to your regular menu.

So if you are seeking a dish rich in Mediterranean flavor but you don’t have a lot of time to cook, try this Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Bake.

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Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Bake (Meatless)
Nothing fancy to see here - just a healthy, delicious, meatless, Mediterranean meal featuring roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and a golden cheesy crust. Did we mention it's SIMPLE to make?
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
Passive Time 40
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
Passive Time 40
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating, slice eggplant into rounds.
  3. Lay the eggplant slices on two roasting trays and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Roast for 20 minutes, until golden and soft.
  4. While eggplant is roasting, add cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of EVOO, minced garlic and Italian herbs to a medium-large saucepan. As tomatoes begin to break down from the heat, mash with a fork. (Side note: If using a jar of tomato sauce, simply mix sauce with garlic and Italian herbs.)
  5. Once tomatoes break down into a sauce, remove from stovetop.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large saucepan. Gently add the flour and stir with a whisk.
  7. Slowly add milk to create a sauce and continue to whisk. When sauce thickens, add salt and pepper to taste and 3/4 cup of cheese.
  8. Once the eggplant slices are golden and soft, remove from oven.
  9. In a baking dish, layer half the eggplant and half the tomato sauce. Repeat, creating a second layer with remaining eggplant and tomato sauce.
  10. Top with the cheesy béchamel sauce and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
  11. Crumble the slice of bread with your fingers and scatter over the top.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with salad and enjoy!
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