Spice in the Kitchen: Vegetarian Moussaka

I'm not going to lie to you, this is a time consuming recipe. Or maybe it just felt time consuming because I had a two-year-old at my feet the whole time and an ill daughter needing my attention and my kitchen was hot and humid from the freakish heat wave we are having. So, I guess what I am saying is, make moussaka on a leisurely Sunday for dinner, or with the help of your friends, in a kitchen with AC.

Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe (with vegan option)
serves 6

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices 
  • 1 lb of zucchini (about 5 small, or 3 big), cut on the diagonal into 1/4" slices
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • (Alternatively, you could cube the veggies, just all in equal size.)
  • 1/2 cup of feta (I use the fat free kind from Trader Joe's--made with non-animal rennet.)
tomato sauce:
  • 1 tsp hing (or 1 clove of garlic and 1 small onion chopped)
  • 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas or lentils, cooked or canned (I used French lentils.)

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Lightly salt sliced eggplant and zucchini, set aside in a dish for about 20-30 minutes to remove water.
  3. Drain excess water, rinse and pat dry. Set zukes aside.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with oil, place dried eggplant slices in a single layer, spray tops with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes. Shut off oven and set aside.
  5. Parboil your potatoes (make fork tender). And then slice into 1/4 in slices. Set aside.
  6. While the eggplant is cooking, sauté hing and other spices in 1 TB of olive oil (or if using garlic and onions, sauté them in the olive oil until translucent and then add spices). Add tomato sauce and paste. Simmer for 15 minutes and then add lentils and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. In a 9x13" (roughly) casserole dish sprayed with oil, layer potatoes, then zukes, feta, and then eggplant and repeat pattern. Pour tomato sauce on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. In the meantime, make the bechamel of your choice.
  10. Take the moussaka out of the oven, and pour the bechamel on top. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the bechamel is golden and bubbly. Let cool a bit before serving.

1 comment:

  1. omg, i'm hungry and these pictures look so delish! thanks for sharing the recipe :)


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