It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. and one can only imagine all the BBQ’S that will be going on. As a matter of fact we will be doing the same, with friends and family. Since there will be your usual hamburgers and hot dogs, I decided to make a delicious vegetarian moussaka to accommodate my vegetarian guests. I have had a lot of experience making traditional moussaka, but because of the robust flavor of the eggplant, I knew I could put together a vegetarian version of the recipe. You can serve hot out of the oven, which is juicier like the picture, or room temperature for a more solid presentation.
This recipe is variable, because you can add different types of vegetables to your liking, such as roasted zucchini, roasted red peppers, canned green lentils and mushrooms. But don’t leave out the potatoes, because they are essential to the recipe since they absorbs the liquids.
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 14 ounce canned peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 3 large eggplants, sliced
- 5 large potatoes, sliced in a circular shape.
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all- purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- salt and pepper
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 2 cups kefalotyri or pecorino romano cheese grated
- In a medium sized skillet heat up oil and lightly fry the potatoes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set potatoes aside.
- Heat one table spoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat, cover and let simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
- Meanwhile, place the eggplant on a large rectangular pan, drizzle olive oil on top and place in the oven on 350 degrees.
- Cook until browned on both sides. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
- Layer an oven proof dish with the potatoes, and most of the tomato mixture. Add a layer of eggplant and any remaining potatoes. Add-in remaining tomato sauce mixture (should be a little left over)
- To make the bechamel sauce, put the butter, flour, and milk in a pan over medium-low heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat , let cool slightly, then beat in the egg.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant, spinkle with cheese, and bake in a preheated oven, 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes until golden on top.
- Serve hot.
- Servings: 4-8
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 Minutes