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Flatiron Foodies: ilili's Baked Moussaka Eggplant

Welcome to the second installment of Flatiron Foodies, a part of the 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer, to help you with your holiday menu planning.

For the second week of the series, ilili Chef de Cuisine Daniel Dorado shares his Baked Moussaka Eggplant. This versatile dish can be served as a main or a side and is perfect for pleasing vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.



ilili Restaurant
Chef de Cuisine Daniel Dorado

Serves:  6-8
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour - 1hour 15 minutes (30 minutes of cooking and 30-45 minutes in the oven)


  • 3 pounds cubed eggplant, half of the skin in stripes
  • 1 cup large diced ripe Roma Tomatoes (skinless)
  • 1 cup large Roma canned tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼  teaspoon allspice
  • ¼  teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½  cup water
  • ⅛  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 58 round cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

To Prepare: 


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of skin from eggplant lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes.

  2. Deep-fry the eggplant in cooking oil until brown, remove from oil, and place on white paper napkins to soak up the excess oil. (For a healthier alternative, brush eggplant with oil and bake at 375 degrees until browned and slightly charred.)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Using a hot sauce pot, add olive oil and garlic and saute garlic until translucent, but not brown.

  3. Add the onions, all of the seasonings, and saute until onions are wilted.

  4. Add tomatoes, and water, and bring to a boil, allow to simmer for 12 minutes.

  5. Reserve for later use.


Baking Moussaka:

Place the eggplant in a 10-inch round baking pan and top with sauce and the 1 tablespoon of salt. Layer the cherry tomatoes in a circular fashion. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the tomatoes are brown, with a slight char.


Special Thanks to ilili General Manager Britta Priest.

Pictured above: Baked Moussaka Eggplant as served at ilili Restaurant.

Pictured below: Baked Moussaka Eggplant as served at home.

Pictured below: Chef de Cuisine Daniel Dorado.
Photos courtesy of ilili Restaurant.



Happy Friday! 🤸‍♀️
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Happy Friday! 🤸‍♀️ 📸: @raven_newyork
4 days ago