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Vegetarian Moussaka

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
3-4 medium to large eggplants, partially peeled lengthwise, removing 1/2 inch strips, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
2 large Vidalia onions, chopped
2 packages Portabella mushrooms, chopped
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup vegetable broth or water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup Kefalotyri or grated cheese such as Parmesan
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil, and some for brushing
salt and pepper to taste

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Vegetarian Moussaka

A Lenten recipe for Veggie Moussaka

Features:
  • Vegetarian
Cuisine:

Safe for Lent, delicious, and healthy!

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

Ingredients

Note

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In keeping with the theme of Lent, we decided to take a traditional Greek dish, Moussaka, and make it vegetarian! We didn’t just omit the meat sauce and call it vegetarian, we made the red sauce with chopped Portobello mushrooms instead of ground beef or lamb. The result was… well… super delicious! This dish has multiple steps but it is so worth it. It yields a lot and can be enjoyed with just a salad as a complete meal in itself. Try it during this Lenten period and you will have a filling and healthy meal!

Steps

1
Done

Place eggplant in a colander over a bowl or in the sink and sprinkle with kosher salt. Top with a weighted plate. Let sit for about 30 minutes. This will draw out excess moisture and take away some of bitterness from the eggplant.

2
Done

After about 30 minutes, brush excess salt from eggplant and pat dry.

3
Done

Lightly brush potatoes and eggplant slices with a little olive oil. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and place both on a pan and broil until potatoes are golden brown and eggplant starts to soften and brown. (They may take different times). Set aside.

4
Done

Preheat oven to 350°.

5
Done

To make red sauce:

Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat until olive oil shimmers in appearance.

6
Done

Add chopped onions and Portobello's and sauté until soft.

7
Done

Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes or so.

8
Done

Add wine, broth or water, salt and pepper to taste, and cinnamon, if using. Simmer until liquid has been absorbed.

9
Done

Remove from heat and add grated cheese and 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

10
Done

To make the Béchamel Sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat.

11
Done

Add flour and cook until golden in color. Slowly stir in hot milk. Simmer until mixture is hot and smooth. String occasionally as to not let it brown or burn.

12
Done

Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

13
Done

Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl.

14
Done

Temper the eggs by gradually adding about a cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks and continuously stirring, being mindful not to curdle the eggs.

15
Done

Pour egg mixture into sauce pan and immediately remove from heat. Do not cook the eggs.

16
Done

Lightly grease bottom and sides of large, deep baking pan. (we used a 9 x 13 - 3 Qt. Pyrex).

17
Done

Sprinkle the bottom of pan with breadcrumbs.
Place a layer of eggplant on breadcrumbs.
Then layer eggplant with the red sauce.
Then add a layer of potatoes.
Then top again with a layer of red sauce.
Then another layer of eggplant.
Add the Béchamel sauce and spread across the entire pan, covering the eggplant.
Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and breadcrumbs.

18
Done

Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

19
Done

Let cool about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

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