Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe

Step 1

First make the tomato sauce: peel and mince onions. Saute onions in about 2 T oil and about 2 T butter, over moderate heat, until they are soft and lightly colored (about 8 minutes). Add mushrooms and saute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, seasonings and sugar.

Step 2

Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid should be evaporated, and the mixture quite thick. Remove skillet from heat and let it cool completely.

Step 3

Start seasoning the eggplants: peel eggplants and slice vertically, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Now make the Bechamel Sauce: Place the milk in a saucepan and heat it just until tiny bubbles appear along the edges. Remove and set aside.

Step 5

Melt one cube butter in a 3-quart saucepan over very low heat until foamy, being careful not to brown. Slowly add the 6 T flour, stirring constantly until smooth (3-4 minutes), and still being careful not to let it brown. Add the milk slowly, whipping with a wire whisk. When the mixture is thick and smooth, remove it from the heat and stir in seasonings. Cool sauce slightly.

Step 6

Back to the eggplant: Rinse well with cold water; squeeze gently and pat dry. Dredge the eggplant in about 1 1/2 cups flour and saute in olive oil.

Step 7

Put it all together: Stir ricotta cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Gently fold it into the Bechamel sauce. Stir in beaten eggs until thoroughly incorporated.

Step 8

Remove and discard any excess oil that has risen to the top of the tomato mixture.

Step 9

Lightly grease a 16x10 baking pan and sprinkle the bottom with a few bread crumbs. Place a layer of eggplant in the pan, following with a layer of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and grated cheese. Repeat as many times as you have eggplant to last.

Step 10

Pour the Bechamel-ricotta sauce over the top and bake at 300 degrees F. for one hour, or until a golden-brown crust has formed on top. Remove moussaka from oven and let it stand undisturbed 20-30 minutes; the delay allows the layers to fuse.

NOTES: Vegetarian version of the Greek classic -- This recipe is not for the faint-hearted. It's very good and it takes a lot of work. Don't waste it on someone who would be just as satisfied with steak and salad!

Things You'll Need

------------TOMATO SAUCE----------------
  • 2lg Onions
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2T Butter
  • 2c Mushrooms, minced
  • -(if you insist upon
  • -using meat, substitute
  • -1 lb ground beef or
  • -lamb for the mushrooms)
  • 3T Tomato paste
  • 3 Tomatoes, peeled
  • -and pureed
  • 3/4c Red wine, dry
  • 1/2c Parsley, chopped
  • 1t Cinnamon
  • 1T Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1T Oregano
  • 1t Sugar
-----------BECHAMEL SAUCE---------------
  • 4c Milk
  • 1/2c Butter
  • 6T Flour
  • 1/8t Nutmeg
  • 1/4t White pepper
-----------THE CASSEROLE----------------
  • Olive oil
  • 3lb Eggplant
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 2c Ricotta cheese
  • 1c Bread crumbs, dry
  • 2c Kefalotyri or Parmesan
  • -cheese, grated

About this Author

iChef.com - Recipes, food and cooking information.