Vegetarian Moussaka is a play on the traditional Greek dish. It is saucy. It is packed full of vegetables. It is filling. It is a must try!!!
Have you ever had one of those weeks when nothing specifically went wrong but nothing was perfect? So most of this week it rained, but it wasn’t to heavy. It was humid outside but my hair didn’t frizz up too much. I got new ballet flats but I needed to break them in. I finally got shelves up in my kitchen but now I have no clue what to put on them. So no BIG problems, but little non-problems. You know what I mean?<—— First world problems in full effect!!!
This saucy sauce tho! I had to physically stop myself from diving into it head first.This moussaka recipe almost stopped right here. Let’s take this slowly— creamy lentil and earthy mushrooms that are stewed in a spiced up tomato sauce. I needed the comfort that only baked cheese can offer.
So this has layers of eggplant and potatoes with a rich mushroom and lentil tomato sauce, topped with béchamel sauce. Can we talk about this béchamel sauce for a minute, it has super creamy goat cheese. Yup, I went there. The goat cheese made the sauce tangy, while the parmesan added a salty bite. Which takes an already perfectly decadent thing to another level.
Let’s do this!
- 3 1/2 pounds eggplant unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup of feta crumbled
- 1 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup braised lentils
- 12 ounces portobello mushrooms chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- Prepping the Eggplant:
- Take the eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the eggplant with sea salt and put them in a large colander. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay eggplant onto a large baking sheet, brush with olive oil and bake for 12 minutes or until just softened. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, Add the cumin seeds and curry powder. Allow the spices to bloom for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes, do not allow to burn. Add the chopped mushrooms. Add carrots and braised lentils. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover, lower heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes.
- Bechamel Sauce:
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk it together. It will form a ball. Cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of milk and whisk to combine. It will thicken quickly. Add the nutmeg.
- Whisk until smooth then cook for 5 minutes or until it thickens so that it thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from the stove and whisk in both parmesan and goat cheese. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To Assemble:
- Lower the heat in oven to 350 F.
- Place half the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish, then top with all the Filling. Sprinkle with feta.
- Top with sliced potatoes, then pour over the Béchamel Sauce, and bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
- To serve:
- Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving. To serve sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- *I used a 9×13 inch cast iron enameled lasagna dish.
- *You can add breadcrumbs to the top.
- * Cilantro can be replaced with parsley.