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Side dish ( a starch) to go with Moussaka

I am looking for a splendid side dish to go with moussaka for a dinner party. Would love your favorite recipe for the lamb and eggplant dish as well. Thanks for your help.

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  1. Whenever I've had Moussaka -- particularly in the Greek countryside -- it's had a layer of potatoes in it, so you certainly don't need more starch. It's a complete meal in and of itself. Just a thought.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        The potatoes are optional, I like it better without them. I too am looking for a delicious rendition. I was thinking of trying bobby flay's recipe with goat cheese, I know it is not traditional. I also love my eggplant peeled! It is quite rich so I would pair something bitter( rapini or radicchio/endive salad) and acidic( salad dressing) and finish off the veg with a sprinkling of toasted nuts or seeds for crunch. A Greek salad would be delicious but maybe a little predictable.

      2. The version I make does not have potatoes in it. I've seen those and I've also seen versions that do not use a bechamel/egg topping. I use the bechamel topping and because of the richness I've never thought of needing a starch on the side. I would go with a nice salad and either garlic bread (if you must have a starch) or a loaf of pizza caccia nanza and a dish of good olive oil to dip it in. Add cracked black pepper, basil pesto, and feta, if you like.

        1. What about orzo? Maybe you could mix some of the flavors of the traditional greek salad into the orzo itself.

          1. I made this moussaka and it was fab:
            though I would probably make the meat filling the day ahead, then do the potatoes, aubergine, custard and assembly on the day of eating, otherise it's quite a lot of work.

            I wouldn't serve a starch with it either as it already contains potato. Just a salad, or maybe some green beans with lemon and garlic - something sharp and crunchy to cut through the richness of the dish.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gembellina

              Thanks for this link, will definitely try it! Love their food; usually order the excellent lamb chops or grilled fish...next time, moussaka.

              I've only made a vegetarian version but we love it.
              Keep meaning to try the meat version...

              Oh, I agree about the salad as others have stated. Rich dish. May be a soup?

              ETA: on the greekfood.about.com recipe, I don't bread/fry eggplant, just bake in oven.

            2. I posted a good recipe some time ago, but I couldn't readily find it among the 58 hits for moussaka threads when I searched for it here. But I'm sure there are many good recipes in the 58.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Joebob

                Joebob - It would be great if you'd post your recipe again sometime. I used the Advanced search features to look through 5 years of your posts (i.e. 2008 to now) and found your references to the recipe but not the original.

                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                  COOKING THE GREEK WAY MOUSSAKAS MELIDZANES (with rewriting as necessary)

                  6-7 med. eggplant
                  1 oz. butter
                  1 lb. minced meat
                  2 chopped onions
                  5 oz. dry red wine
                  2 T tomato puree
                  2 T chopped parsley
                  s & p
                  6 T toasted breadcrumbs
                  5 oz. olive oil for frying
                  2 egg yolks
                  15 oz. white sauce (see below)
                  2 T grated cheese
                  nut of butter

                  Cut eggplant into 1/4 "-thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for at least 30 min.
                  Melt 1 oz. butter and fry meat and onions until brown. Stir in wine, tomato puree diluted with a little water. parsley, and seasoning. Cover pan and cook gently 30-40 min. Remove from heat, add 4 T breadcrumbs and stir well. Rinse and wipe eggplant slices dry. Heat olive oil and fry eggplant on both sides until golden brown. Grease inside of a large ovenproof dish and coat with 1 T breadcrumbs. Divide eggplant slices into 3 portions. Arrange 1 layer in the dish, cover with half of the meat mix, then the second layer of eggplant, then the rest of the meat. Cover with the last third of the eggplant. Beat the 2 egg yolks and stir into the white sauce with 1 T of the cheese. Spread that on the top to cover uniformly. Sprinkle with the rest of the breadcrumbs and cheese and dot with the nut of butter. Cook in a moderate (375F/190C) oven 30 min. until the top is golden brown. It can be prepared in advance and baked just before serving.


                  4-5 oz. butter, cut in small pieces
                  2 T flour
                  10 oz. hot milk
                  s & p
                  2 egg yolks
                  1 t lemon juice

                  Melt 1 oz. butter in a small sauce pan and add flour. Stir over low heat 2-3 min. and add milk slowly. Season to taste, beat in egg yolks, stir in the rest of the butter and finish with lemon juice.

                  Greasy and quite delicious.

                  1. re: Joebob

                    Thanks very much. So the sauce has 4 egg yolks total - 2 as it's first made, then 2 more plus the cheese just before it's spread on top of the dish?

                    And baking dish size - does it fit in a typical 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan (seems like it might...), or is a larger/deeper pan needed?

                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                      Yes, 4 eggs total.

                      A deeper dish is better. I use a 2.5 liter/3 qt. Corning ware dish.

                      1. re: Joebob

                        Nice recipe.

                        I see that two of your total four eggs get used in the white sauce, but I can't spot where the eggs get used elsewhere in your write up. I assume it is in meat/wine/tomato mixture. Is this right?

              2. This is my go-to moussaka recipe:


                I think mashed potatoes goes well with it, either white or sweet.

                1. Since Moussaka is on the heavy side, my suggeston would be to serve it with grissini -- bread sticks -- which are spectacular if you make your own.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: honu2

                    I'm really curious as to why you would serve something rich with breadsticks? Seems very counter intuitive to me. I've never understood the idea of eating garlic bread with pasta/lasagna, seems so excessive to me. Please help me understand this phenomenon.

                    1. re: Gloriaa

                      I've always wondered why I, and so many other people, like garlic bread or breadsticks with pasta. I myself suggested that earlier in the thread.

                      It doesn't seem excessive to me. I suppose the crunchy texture of the bread with the soft texture of the pasta/moussaka is part of the reason. You can also flavor the bread with different herbs so that serves as a counterpoint as well.

                      Maybe some people are just carb lovers? I know I am. Humanity survived on carbs, and died from bad wheat harvests, for hundereds of years (at least). Maybe it's a genetic thing.

                      Oh, almost forgot, you can use the bread to sop up any left over sauce on the plate.

                      1. re: thymetobake

                        "you can use the bread to sop up any left over sauce on the plate."


                        Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

                  2. I always serve moussaka with spanakorizo---a Greek combination of cooked rice and chopped cooked spinach mixed half-and-half, seasoned with cinnamon and plenty of lemon juice. I don't use potatoes in my moussaka---just the bottom layer of eggplant, the second layer of meat, the third layer of grated cheese, and the top layer of bechamel. I don't fry the eggplant---I brown it in the broiler. The ground meat I brown with onions, add a little tomato sauce, and season with lemon juice and cinnamon. Then cheese (I use mozzarella for the consistency and flavor I want). The sauce is a white sauce with two eggs beaten into it.