Monday, October 6, 2008

MoFo Moussaka!

Welcome to Day 6 of Vegan MoFo! For dinner, I decided to utilize all of those yummy local veggies I got this weekend! Eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, hmmm?? Ah, yes: Moussaka! I have loved Greek food for a very long time, so I felt it was high time for me to try out the Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream recipe from Veganomicon! Boy am I glad I did, too! I loved the flavors and textures and layers. Did I mention it has pine nut cream?! Jeebus! I would definitely make this again...even though I found it pretty time consuming. I guess I was just hungry :)

Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream (serves 6 to 8)
Vegetable Layer:

1 lb eggplant

1 lb zucchini

1 1/2 lbs potatoes

1/4 c olive oil

To prepare veggies: Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash and trim the veggies. Slice them lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips. Rub eggplant with salt and set aside in a colander in a sink for 15 minutes to drain. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place each vegetable on a separate baking sheet and evenly distribute the olive oil over the three pans. Toss to coat with the oil. Roast the eggplant and zucchini for 15 minutes, and the potatoes for 20-22 minutes, until browned. Allow to cool.

Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 large shallots, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup veg broth or wine

2 cans crushed tomatoes, with juice...**you could throw in some diced fresh tomatoes, too!**

2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 bay leaf

pinch of salt

**I added a bunch of fresh local mint, coarsely chopped. I highly recommend!!!

To make sauce: Combine olive oil and garlic in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat over medium flame and sizzle garlic for about 30 seconds. Add shallots and cook 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Add the wine/broth and simmer until reduced, about 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaf, **and mint,** Simmer over medium-low, covered, for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf, and add salt to taste.

Pine Nut Cream:

1 lb soft silken tofu

1/2 c pine nuts, and more to garnish

3 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp arrowroot powder

1 clove garlic

pinch of nutmeg

1 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

pinch of white pepper

To make cream: In food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice until creamy paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend until creamy and smooth.

To assemble:

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Lightly oil a 9x13 inch pan and preheat oven to 400F, if not already done. Spread 1/4 cup sauce on the bottom of the pan, then start layering. Put successive layers of eggplant, potatoes, sauce and half the breadcrumbs in the pan. Spread all the zucchini on this in a layer. Top this all with a final successive layering of the rest of the eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and breadcrumbs. Use a rubber spatula to then evenly spread the pine nut cream over the entire top layer. Scatter some pine nuts on top. Then, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. mmmmmmmmoussaka! (From Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)

I served mine with some kalamata olive rolls from our local Uprise Bakery, as well as some beautiful steamed baby swiss chard. This meal made me very happy! And now I have a bunch of leftovers...yay!


seitanismymotor said...

It may be time consuming, but that recipe is my all time favourite from Veganomicon!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Yours look so pretty! When I made it, it looked like a mess of great tasting food on a plate.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I had no idea what "moussaka" was until I came to look at this post. It look so flippin' good Laura! Brett and I are moving in! You can feed us every night if you'll be making these yummy dishes. I'll have to pull out my dusty copy of VCon - especially while the tomatoes are still around.