I am so lucky to have Levent around.

This is true for many reasons, but one of them is his ability to teach me about Turkish foods. (He grew up in Gaziantep) If you know me, you know I love trying new foods from all over the world. So braving the kitchen with Levent to make Turkish food is one of my new favorite things.

Last Sunday, we tried his mom's Moussaka recipe. I had my doubts at first, mostly due to the eggplant factor. (What a weird thing). But, my doubts did not last long and this dish has now secured it's place in my eggplant recipe rotation.


1 medium-large eggplant
1 large onion
6 to 10 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can pepper paste (if you can find it)
salt and pepper
2 tomatoes
2 green peppers

Cut eggplant into slices. Soak in salt water for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze eggplant with a towel. Heat a half inch oil in pan or electric skillet. Fry eggplant until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels or brown paper. Once eggplant slices are drained, layer into a 8x11 greased pan.

In a skillet, sauté onions in a little bit of oil. Add ground beef and brown until no longer pink, adding garlic in the last few minutes. Drain excess grease. Mix in tomato and pepper paste. Add a little bit of water to give it a saucy consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Layer beef mix on top of the eggplant.

Slice tomatoes and peppers and layer them on top of the ground beef to make a design.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Serve over rice with plain Greek yogurt.