Matt and I love Mediterranean Food. This dish was inspired by the Vegetarian Moussaka at Cafe Mediterranean in Baton Rouge, LA. They serve an array of delights from crispy falafel and tangy tabbouleh to meatless moussaka and garlicky baba ganoush (VERY garlicky, actually...but that's how I prefer, well, everything!). While Cafe Med's owners originally hail from China, they certainly don't fail in capturing the flavorful essence I've come to love of Greek and Lebanese food. While some of the dishes I've come to love contain a particularly heavy amount of oil, owner Diane Zhang is actually a nutritionist boasting meals that are low in cholesterol but "still preserve flavor and taste."
There vegetarian moussaka is probably one of Matt's favorite meals and in an attempt to bring that dish I home, I created this:
Moroccan-Spiced Eggplant and Kale
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, chopped
2 tablespoons Moroccan Spice Rub
1 can roasted & diced tomatoes (feel free to use any kind of canned tomatoes or tomato sauce)
2 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan on medium to medium -low and heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toss in onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent and everything is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
Add the eggplant and another tablespoon or two of olive oil. The eggplant will soak up a lot of oil, so try to resist the temptation to add more. Cook until eggplant has browned up a little. Add the spice rub, stir to coat. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining oil (optional) and cook for 7-10 minutes. Add kale and simmer until wilted.
Serve this on top of couscous, inside pita or as it is.