My version of vegetarian moussaka
I have never been a big fan of moussaka even back in the days I wasn’t a vegetarian. Something about seemed to heavy for my tastes. My mother’s version was better since the vegetables weren’t fried first but baked but still she used to put zucchini in which felt a bit to squishy for me. Yesterday, after checking the fridge I decided to give it a go using red peppers instead of zucchini and in my opinion they give a great sweetness to the dish. I also use white eggplants that are more sweet and tasteful.
So here it is:
- 3 white eggplants, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (as a Greek it's really difficult to measure how much olive oil I use...probably I put in more than this amount!)
- 3 red peppers, cut in half
- 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- (If you use white eggplants proceed to step 2 if not then) sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) on the grill
- Place the sliced vegetables in baking pan covered with non stick paper and place them in the oven (for more taste sprinkle some salt and a bit of olive oil). Grill them until they get a nice color.
- Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add salt and pepper.. Stir in tomatoes, oregano and parsley. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven. Take the skin off the peppers.
- In a 9x13 inch casserole dish layer the potatoes, eggplant, pepper, eggplant, and feta. Pour tomato mixture over vegetables; repeat layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant.
- Cover and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine butter, flour and milk. Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Season with pepper and add nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, and stir in beaten egg.
- Pour sauce over vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 25 to 30 minutes until the béchamel cream has a nice gold crust.
- Let it cool and enjoy!