This version of moussaka is loaded with roasted eggplant and zucchini and has a lovely pine-nut tofu topping. It is out of Veganomicon (such a fabulous book). I wanted to try this from day one of owning the book and finally got round to it today. Like any moussaka I've ever made, it's fairly time consuming because you have to prepare 3 parts...but they're all fairly simple steps. The amount of dishes to do afterwards is probably the biggest issue! I made a nice big casserole which could have fed 6 easily with a salad, maybe even 8. I found that the amount of potatoes this calls for weren't enough for two layers of potato, just one. So I'm not sure if I was off in weight, or if I cut them too thick. But one layer of potato was just fine. You have some leeway to increase the eggplant & zucchini a bit as well, I used 2 medium eggplant and 2 medium zucchini which is well over 1 lb. Well - if you give it a go, I hope you enjoy!
- 1 lb eggplant (italian sort, not the long japanese type)
- 1 lb zucchini
- 1 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄3 cup vegetable broth (or wine)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt
Pine Nut Topping
- 1 lb soft silken tofu
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil 3 baking sheets.
- Veg: Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices lengthwise. Places them into a colander and sprinkle with salt -- rub the salt around so that it reaches all sides on all pieces. Set the colander aside to sweat for about 15 minutes (takes away any bitterness).
- In the meantime slice the zucchini into similar 1/4 inch slices lengthwise. Peel the potatoes then slice the same way.
- Rinse the eggplant and pat dry.
- Place each vegetable onto it's own baking sheet. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of oil over all the veg, rubbing around so that all sides get covered. The eggplant will need a little more oil, and it does stick more easily. Sprinkle the zucchini and potato with salt. Spread out the veg, overlapping is OK and probably necessary to fit everything on. Roast all the veg until lightly browned around the edges - roughly 15 minutes for the eggplant and zucchini and 20 minutes for the potatoes.
- Tomato Sauce: Combine the remaning 1/4 cup oil and garlic in a large pan. Heat over medium heat and let the garlic sizzle for about a minute and then add in the shallots. Cook until transulcent, about 5 minutes. Add in the tin of crushed tomatoes (entire tin, no straining). Add the oregano, cinnamon and bay leaf. Leave that covered, to simmer for about 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightl and reduce. Turn off the heat and adjust salt to taste. Remove bay leaf.
- Topping: Using a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice into a paste. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Putting it together: Lightly oil a casserole dish (ie 9 x 13). Reheat the oven to 400. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of eggplant, a layer of potatoes another 1/2 cup of sauce and half of the breadcrumbs.
- Assess how much eggplant and potato you have left. If you can do 2 more layers, then do another sequence of sauce/eggplant/potato/sauce. If you can only do 1 more layer then move on to the next zucchini step.
- Spread all of the zucchini over this, then top with another layer of eggplant/potato/sauce, and the rest of the breadcrumbs.
- Spread the pine nut topping on last, using a spatula to spread it out as best you can without disturbing the layers underneath.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed in the topping. Allow to set 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This was great! I followed the recipe as directed right up to where I was supposed to start layering. Then I got lazy... I put all the veggies in the tomato sauce, stirred it together, then spead it in the pan. I used the topping just like I was supposed to though! I thought this was a wonderful meal, and with my shortcut it wasn't that hard to do. I liked the tofu/pine nut topping a lot and will definitely be making this again. I love scrumptious meals like this that aren't loaded in fat and calories. A winner for sure!
Wow! This is fantastic! Yes, it does take some time to put together. It's probably not the best dish for a busy work/school night, BUT it IS the perfect thing to impress guests (vegan and non-vegan alike) on a weekend or holiday. I made this as directed except that I only made one layer of each vegetable, forgot to add the broth or wine to the sauce (came out fine), subbed cornstarch for arrowroot, and used gluten-free breadcrumbs (Glutino brand...honestly, I think it would be fine without the breadcrumbs too). As Jeri Roth Lande pointed out, none of the steps were difficult, only time consuming, and the results were SO worth the time! The vegetables were perfectly cooked: soft but firm. I was tempted to use a jar of marinara for the sauce, but I'm glad I didn't because the spices called for lent the finished dish a Mediterranean flair. I especially loved the pine nut topping. I can definitely see myself making that by itself. This casserole could easily feed 8 people, in my opinion. My husband, husband's friend and I really enjoyed it but barely made a dent in it. I was planning to freeze some, but then I happily ate some leftovers for both breakfast AND lunch today. I might not have to freeze any after all! Made for Veg*an Swap, June 2010
This was good and looked very impressive. As warned in the directions, it does take a while, but nothing is difficult. I actually replaced the potato layer with portobella mushrooms because DH is currently doing low carb. Made for Veggie Swap 22 May 2010