Sumptuous Layered Moussaka

An old friend of mine, Divya Swamy, recently posted an award winning vegetarian moussaka on her food blog.   I simply had to try it out since moussaka is such a great hearty dish to serve to large groups.  It turned out amazing and with a few modifications of my own it will definitely be something I will be serving at my next dinner party!

Ingredients (to make one 8×10 pan’s worth–serves 8-10)

  • 3 large Italian globe eggplants or 6 smaller Asian eggplants (I used smaller ones in the contest)
  • olive oil to drizzle over eggplant
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t clove (3-4 cloves)
  • 1/4 t all spice (3 pods)
  • 1/4 t oregano (fresh is better)
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 t thyme (or a sprig of fresh thyme, which is what I used)
  • a few leaves of fresh basil
  • 4 T vegan butter
  • 2 t salt
  • 4 T flour
  • 4 c almond milk
  • 1/8 c parm (could add more if you want)
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Field Roast Mexican Chipotle seitan sausage

 

The Method:
Note: This recipe involves getting a bunch of things going at the same time so it might seem daunting but it goes by pretty fast. …

Eggplant

  1. Peel your eggplant. Then slice into 1/2″ rounds.
  2. I put down parchment onto a large baking sheet, and then spread my eggplant into a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450.  Cook for about 10 mins or until your eggplant is softer and has a little brownish color on one side. Flip each piece with tongs and return to the oven until the other side is lightly golden.  The eggplant should be slightly dried out and brownish in color.
  4. Set your cooked eggplant aside (they should have a little shape and give still, but be soft and taste fully cooked)

Tomato Sauce

  1. Chop your garlic, onions, and shallot
  2. Chop your herbs and set aside in a bowl
  3. In a sauce pan, sautee your onions, garlic, and shallot in a little olive oil.
  4. Puree the can of tomatoes and add to the sauce. (I prefer Muir Glen or San Marzano)
  5. Add your cinnamon stick, all spice, clove, oregano, thyme, basil, red chili flakes, and salt to taste.
  6. Cover and simmer on medium until it starts to boil. Turn down to low and simmer until you are ready to use it. (at least 20-30 mins. You’ll know when it stops tasting like just plain old puree and starts tasting like pasta sauce. that’s what you are going for)

Bechemel Sauce (here is where I completely deviated from the original and opted for a vegan bechamel sauce)

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegan butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the almond milk to the vegan butter/flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil.  Cook 15 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.  Season with salt, and set aside until ready to use.

Seitan

  1.  In a normal moussaka recipe, this is where you would cook up some lamb. Instead, we are going to use seitan.
  2. Add the 2 field roast chipotle “sausage” logs to a food processor (or blender) and process into a crumble.
  3. Pour this mixture into a skillet and warm it for 4-5 minutes.

 

Putting it all together. 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. In a 8×10 baking pan, put down a sheet of parchment.
  3. Add a ladle of your tomato sauce
  4. Put down a flat layer of overlapping eggplant slices
  5. Add a layer of crumble
  6. Top with a layer of your bechemel sauce
  7. Repeat 2 more times or until you use all of your ingredients up.  Your last layer will be parmesan cheese.
  8. Pop the whole thing into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until your top is a little golden and the cream is thickened.

 

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