Greece is a meeting place between East and West, its cuisine mixing classical Mediterranean cooking with "oriental" influences from the Middle East. Greek food remains true to its roots, like ancient philosopher Epicurus' dictum to "live well and enjoy the simple things in life."
3 medium eggplants
1 cup flour
1-1/2 cups olive oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
1-1/2 pounds ground lamb
4 ripe tomatoes, seeded, chopped
8 ounces tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces freshly grated kefalotiri cheese
Peel the eggplants and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Sprinkle salt on both sides and lay on paper towels for 30 minutes to "sweat". Dry thoroughly, then dip lightly in flour.
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat-high heat. Add the eggplant slices and cook until lightly golden on both sides. Cook in batches, adding olive oil as necessary; set aside.
Make sure there are at least 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet, and saute the onions for 5 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until no pink show, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated.
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
Heat 1-1/2 cups of milk in a small pan until tiny bubbles appear around the rim. Remove from the heat. In a large pan, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, salt, and flour and whisk until smooth. Heat mixture gently over low heat, then slowly add heated milk. Whisk until smooth and thickens. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lay half of the eggplant slices in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Add the meat mixture and spread smooth. Add the remaining eggplant slices and 1/3 of the cheese. Cover with the sauce, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.