By Mistake Meatless Moussaka

By Mistake Meatless Moussaka

One night as I prepared my ingredients to make this dish, I realized I had forgotten to buy the meat and so, a dish wash born!

A meatless version of this popular dish, Moussaka is considered one of Greece’s national dishes. Although this recipe rendition is not authentic to the traditional recipe using meat and traditional béchamel sauce, today Moussaka is made in many different ways to suit various tastes and dietary preferences.




YIELD: 8 Servings

2 tbsp. EVOO (plus approx. ¼ cup extra for brushing the sliced eggplant)
2 large onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 14oz. cans of plum tomatoes, chopped
½ – ¾ cup red wine or water, if preferred
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp. ground allspice
1/3 – ½ chopped oregano or parsley leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 large eggplants, sliced and brushed with EVOO
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

¼ – 1/3 cup butter
½ cup of spelt flour
2 ½ cups of whole milk (3.25%)
¾ cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 medium eggs, beaten
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook until just beginning to turn golden in colour. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes. Add the fresh chopped herbs of choice after 15 minutes of simmering.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the eggplant. Slice the washed eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices and brush them with olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper to taste. Pan fry the eggplant slices over med-high heat until lightly browned on each side; approximately 2 minutes per side.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low-med. heat. Add the flour and stir using a large mixing spoon. Over low heat, slowly whisk in the milk a small amount at a time. Allow mixture to simmer for about 8 minutes. Stir in about 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes before beating in the eggs.

Arrange a layer of the eggplant slices (approx. 1/3 of the batch) in an 8”X13” ovenproof dish. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the sauce mixture. Cover the eggplant with 1/2 of the sauce. Add a third of the cheese sauce. Repeat and cover with a layer of eggplant slices and repeat process. The final layer of eggplant is topped with remaining cheese sauce along with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake in 400 o F for about 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.