Vegetable Moussaka

Vegetable Moussaka

Moussaka is an eggplant based casserole dish native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It comes in a range of styles and flavors. Some are not layered and look more like a stew. The Greek version is the best known and has layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, and meat (lamb or beef) topped with a white sauce.

My weekend food find mentioned in my previous post included a Vegetable Moussaka. This version is more like a stew with eggplants, zucchinis, and potatoes. The dish was a tad oily but still very delicious. I really liked it and wanted to recreate it in a more traditional layered style.

Vegetable Moussaka

I used long Chinese eggplants and small round eggplants which cook more easily. They are also more juicy so that the dish will not be dry. Using a non-stick pan, I fried the eggplants in 3 batches using only 1 teaspoon of oil each time. I did the same with the zucchinis. I put a thin layer of breadcrumbs at the bottom to help absorb any excessive juices. The dish turned out really well. It was moist and very flavorful. Will definitely make this again.

Vegetable Moussaka

Vegetable Moussaka

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Vegetable Moussaka

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450g) Chinese (or long) eggplant
  • ½ lb (225g) round eggplant
  • 2 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1 cup (115g) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

Sliced Chinese eggplants into 1/8-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Do the same for round eggplants and zucchinis. Toast bread and crumble into coarse crumbs.

Add 1 tsp olive oil to a non-stick pan. Fry half the Chinese eggplants for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and repeat with the other half of the Chinese eggplants. Do the same for round eggplants and zucchinis.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, and cinnamon. Stir for a minute. Add water and salt. Cook for several minutes until sauce thickens. Remove.

Preheat oven to 350?F (180°C).

Place half the breadcrumbs at the bottom of a rectangular or round deep oven proof casserole dish. Place a layer of both types of eggplants followed by a layer of zucchinis. Spoon half the tomato sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle with ½ cup cheese. Place another layer of eggplants followed by another layer of zucchinis. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs followed by cheese.

Bake for 1 hour. If cheese gets too brown, cover loosely with foil.

Remove and serve immediately.

http://www.rotinrice.com/2010/04/vegetable-moussaka/


There was just the right amount of juices, not too much as to make it soggy and not too little as to make it dry.

Vegetable Moussaka

Happy Spring! My forsythia bush is giving a brilliant show of vibrant yellow flowers.



Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)



25 Responses

  1. denise @ quickies on the dinner table says:

    Would you believe I've never had moussaka before? This looks lovely – so moist and tender and all that cheese on top makes me want to dive right in with my fork!

  2. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Your moussaka looks and sounds superb! Love it!

  3. Jay says:

    Moussaka looks yummy. This is completely new to me. Now it goes to my must try list. thanks for sharing dear.

  4. Miranda says:

    mmmmhhh….Looks wonderful.

  5. Kamalika says:

    hi biren…the dish is totally new to me…I don't like eggplant that much…but I can prepare this dish with something else instead of eggplant right???though that would not be the real version…the dish looks very tempting..

  6. Yummy Team says:

    Sounds delicious!! Nice recipe..

  7. Scott K says:

    Love Moussaka! Love it meatless too. I use bread crumbs instead of bechamel on mine as well, though I'd love to find a way to lighten that up so I could use it.

  8. MaryMoh says:

    Looks very delicious. Looks easy…just bake.

  9. Cinnamon-Girl says:

    Your moussaka looks really good! Even though it's made from vegetables it looks like a hearty dish. And great comfort food.

    I read your comment on my burger club post and I just wanted to clear up that we all make the same burger – the green chile one I posted. Sometimes my writing isn't clear enough – I'm sorry. But I would love it if you joined in.

  10. luvtoeat says:

    Oh I love eggplants but my hubby hates them. Maybe if I make the Greek version with lamb he'll eat it. Your dish looks delicious. And love the combo of eggplants with zucchini. Thank you for sharing that recipe Biren :-D

  11. Kathleen says:

    This sounds really fabulous. I need all the help I can get trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet!

  12. redkathy says:

    I so have to try this moussaka recipe friend. I haven't eaten moussaka is a long time, and have never prepared it. It's about time I change those facts. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Rumana Rawat says:

    This looks delicious and very healthy

  14. bunkycooks says:

    What a delicious way to add eggplant to your diet! I will have to try your recipe.

  15. Cookin' Canuck says:

    I adore moussaka and this vegetarian version looks delicious.

    Forsythia bushes always make me feel as though spring has actually arrived.

  16. Biren says:

    denise@quickies on the dinner table – There are so many kinds of food out there and no one can have tried it all…. I do hope you will give this a try :)

    5 Star Foodie – Thanks!

    Jay – I hope you will try making it soon :)

    Miranda – Thanks!

    Kamalika – Zucchinis and potatoes will do very well in this dish.

    Yummy Team – Thanks!

    Scott K – I have not tried the ones with the bechamel sauce but I am thinking that it will probably be delicious.

    MaryMoh – Thanks, and yes, it is not difficult to make :)

    Cinnamon-Girl – It is a hearty dish and makes a nice light lunch on its own. Thanks for clarifying….I will try to join. It's time to fire up the grill.

    luvtoeat – Perhaps you can use zucchinis and potatoes instead. I think a lot of people may actually prefer it with some meat. Either lamb or beef will work.

    Kathleen – I love vegetables and I add lots of it even to my meat dishes :)

    redkathy – I do hope you will try it. It is good on its own as a light lunch.

    Rumana Rawat – Thanks!

    bunkycooks – Thanks and I hope you will give it a try :)

    Cookin' Canuck – Thanks! I have always enjoyed eggplants and this is my new favorite way to prepare it. Love the brilliant yellow of the forsythia…such a bright and happy color :)

  17. tigerfish says:

    Maybe we can turn Garfield into a vegetable-loving cat? The moussaka looks almost like lasagna in the baking dish. :)

  18. Cristina @TeenieCakes says:

    Eggplants are beautiful. I've never actually made anything with them. This would be a good recipe to try first. It's like tigerfish mentioned…it's like a lasagna where the eggplant serves as the noodle. Looks delicious!

  19. Biren says:

    tigefish – LOL! We can certainly try to convert Garfield :) This dish does look like a vegetable lasagna.

    Cristina@TeenieCakes – We really enjoy eggplants and I cook them often. This is a new way of preparing it for me but I will certainly do this more often. My boys loved it :)

  20. Mother Rimmy says:

    Fantastic. We were just talking about eggplants at work and surfing for recipes. I'll pass this along!

  21. I love the stew version…going to try that…I adore the original too..I’m a vegetarian and I found that using a good vegetarian mince sauteed in garlic, scallions and olive oil makes a great replacement for the lamb for those that want to have the full experience : ) Your cooking talents are amazing and the varieties of tastes you offer here are incredible! Thank you for sharing with us all…you are really appreciated : ) I have tried many of your recipes and when meat is called for I just substitute with either mushrooms…tofu…mince and it works BRILLIANTLY!!!! Thank you once again for expanding my pallet and not my waistline : ) LOL!!! hugs…

    • Biren says:

      Thank you so much Andrea for your kind and heart warming compliments. I am very happy to hear that you have tried many of my recipes and they have worked well for you. We all cook to the taste of our families based on availability of ingredients and personal comfort zones. I applaud you for taking the initiative to swap out the ingredients for the ones you prefer. That is what home cooking is all about – making good food the way we like it, not what others dictate. Thank you once again for your very encouraging words.

      Big hugs back to you…Biren

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